Darren Aronofsky, So Hot Right Now


For years, Darren Aronofsky has held on to his wish to direct a big-budget adaptation of Noah’s Ark.  Over the years, Aronofsky has established himself as an art house director, directing critical successes like Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and Black Swan.  Any moviegoer should be thrilled that he wants to do something on a grander scale, a sentiment that was realized when he was attached to direct the new Wolverine movie.  We answered all the burning questions about this project to silence all the doubters out there (are there any?).

 

Can Darren Aronofsky draw big business?

In terms of box office, Aronofsky hasn’t proved that he is a sure thing.  Granted, the movies he selects aren’t mass-appeal, but his direction has never been questioned.  Black Swan is his most profitable movie, earning $325 million worldwide.  That’s a lot of money, but it took a long time.  The movie was released in December, and it took until February to reach $100 million domestic, and until May to reach $300 million worldwide.  Not too shabby for an arthouse film, but not good for potential tentpole.  As evidenced by Green Lantern’s increased expectations and the industry’s sole obsession with opening weekends, this may be a leap of faith for movie studios (which is why this will be co-financed).  Along with movies like Avatar, Inception, and Bridesmaids,  Noah’s Ark should further prove that word-of-mouth is very important to success, and that audiences need something good to talk about.  They shouldn’t produce something that, oddly enough, ends up like Wolverine (opened in 4,099 theaters, critically assailed, saw 69% drop in second weekend).

 

Do people want to watch a religious story?

Yes, Noah’s Ark is a religious story.  Save for the small genre of Christian movies and Veggie Tales, religious stories aren’t viewed as typical cash cows.  However, Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ made $611.8 million worldwide.  Noah’s Ark won’t focus on the religious overtones as much as it will focus on total destruction, and the world loves watching itself destruct.  Just look at Rolan Emmerich’s “masterpiece” 2012: it made $769 million and that was just chaos spliced between people talking.  Actually, 2012 is a good comparison.  That movie was co-financed by two studios, with the budget totaling $200 million.  Hopefully, audiences will pay double to see destruction, but produced from a talented filmmaker.

 

Didn’t he disprove himself with The Fountain?

His last big passion project, The Fountain, only made $15 million on a $35 million budget, but that was after years of fighting with the studio and budget cuts and actors falling out.  He deftly rebounded with The Wrestler on a miniscule budget.  And remember, it took Spielberg to fail with 1941 to help shape his legendary career.  So, by judging the landscape of the current talent in the industry, Aronofsky has proved that his storytelling ability is on par with new movie mogul JJ Abrams, and deserves the producing ability that he has.  Don’t believe us?  Here’s three words: Nazi-fighting magicians.

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