Darren Aronofsky’s Bible Heroes: NOAH

Darren Aronofsky is having a hard time getting studio funding for his apocalyptic tale of Noah, so he’s turning his script into a comic.

Darren Aronofsky has a lot going on. He may be in pre-production on The Wolverine right now (we’re all rooting for you, Darren!) but he’s got his eyes on another prize: Noah. The director has long wanted to make a film about the dude with all the animals on his boat, and he’s doing something he tried with The Fountain to move this one along: he’s doing a comic book version first.

You probably don’t remember that there was a Kent Williams-illustrated version of Aronofksy’s original (Brad Pitt-era) script for The Fountain. It came out about a year before the film (if my memory and Wikipedia are correct). That’s possibly the same thing that could happen here; Noah the comic would come out in 2012, just when Aronofsky is flogging The Wolverine. Could the movie version then be next?

The comic will have art by Nico Henrichon, who did the excellent Brian K Vaughn graphic novel Pride of Baghdad. Bleeding Cool has some of his art, and it has a real scifi tinge to it, almost like a Dune story. I love it.

Aronofsky has a big vision for Noah, and it’ll be an expensive film. We’re talking about the end of the world, of course, but also darker elements of humanity. As the director has pointed out, Noah was the first guy to harvest grapes and make wine - history’s first alcoholic. Check out this wacky passage from Genesis:

20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

The Jews really, really hated the Canaanites after that. And I imagine that such weirdness would be included in Aronofsky’s comic and film.

I hope Aronofsky does more comics. Jodorowsky has found that comic books allow him to have a huge vision without dealing with budgets; Aronofsky’s vision seems to be as expansive, and comics need more people thinking big like that.

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