Paramount rounded up a variety of religious leaders and scholars to reflect positively on the March 28 release
In an obvious effort to maximize appeal to religious audiences, Paramount enlisted Christian writer and producer Phil Cooke to produce a behind-the-scenes preview of “Noah” with religious leaders and scholars voicing support for Darren Aronofsky's biblical disaster movie, as well as a bevy of footage.
“Movies aren't meant to preach. Movies aren't sermons, and so if they can bring up the topic to start conversation, that's a good movie. And this one made me ask questions,” Karen Covell, founder of the Hollywood Prayer Network, says in the video (above). “Any good movie has to deviate from the book, and I love the choices that they made.”
“It really adds this beautiful depth to the whole story,” Guy Noland of the Salvation Army Vision Network said. “Were they able to maintain the biblical truths of the Noah story? I would say yes, absolutely.”
Cooke, a media consultant for religious organizations and a critic of contemporary Christian culture in America, recommended “Noah” to readers of his blog earlier this month. As a result of his endorsement, Paramount asked his production company, Cooke Pictures, to produce a series of short videos featuring praise from Christian leaders who have also seen the film.
Screenwriter Ari Handel and “Noah” biblical advisor John Snowden also appear to discuss the creative process and challenges they faced in adapting what Cooke calls “an incredibly short story in the Bible.”
“It's very challenging, and it should be,” Snowden said. “Because the story of Noah's Ark in the Bible is much darker than the one that we tell our kids.