Paramount Rejects Variety Report About Noah as ‘Inaccurate’

Paramount Rejects Variety Report About Noah as 'Inaccurate'

The Hollywood trade reported a recent survey indicated religious audiences are wary of the film's depiction of ‘Noah’

Paramount Pictures rebuked Variety on Tuesday for a recent article about its upcoming film “Noah,” labeling the story “inaccurate” and accusing the Hollywood trade of drawing false conclusions from a recent survey by Faith Driven Consumers.

The religious organization's survey found that “98% of its supporters were not ‘satisfied’ with Hollywood's take on religious stories.” Variety reported the survey was evidence that religious audiences were unhappy with “Noah,” Paramount's upcoming film about the eponymous biblical figure directed by “Black Swan” filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. Paramount objected to Variety's inferences about its movie.

“The survey question that had the 98% response rate did not contain any reference to the film “Noah,” despite the fact that the Variety reporting implied that it did, and research from industry leading firms about the upcoming epic paints a very different picture,” a press release disseminated Wednesday stated.

Also read: ‘Divergent,’ ‘Captain America 2,’ ‘Noah’ — How Hollywood Created the Spring Blockbuster

Variety's online editor Stuart Oldham responded on Twitter by accusing Paramount of being “nervous” and tweeted that their story “is 100% accurate.”

“We simply reported the Faith Driven Consumer survey, which you can find here,” Oldham wrote.

The disagreement comes down to how one interprets the survey. The question posed refers to religious movies in general, asking, “As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible's core message with one created by Hollywood?”

However, the headline of the survey reads “SURVEY: Noah Movie Controversy?,” and below the question there is an overview of the recent articles about the depiction of “Noah” in the film.

It references a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter detailing conflict between Aronofsky and executives at Paramount, particularly after the mixed response of religious audiences in test screenings.

“Friction grew when a segment of the recruited Christian viewers, among whom the studio had hoped to find Noah's most enthusiastic fans, questioned the film's adherence to the Bible story and reacted negatively to the intensity and darkness of the lead character,” THR reported.

Both sides now insist any disagreement is behind them, and Paramount's press release pointed to research that “very religious” moviegoers want to see the film. According to Nielsen's National Research Group, 83 percent of those religious moviegoers aware of the film have expressed interest in seeing it.

  • bobross48

    Aronofsky is a filmmaker whose brilliant vision should not be impaired by bean counters and focus groups.

    • Richard Williams

      It could be impaired by focus groups because that is the audience that Paramount wants to make some money from.

    • Mike

      Just because someone has a “vision” doesn't mean that it is good. Martin Luther King had a vision, but then again, Adolf HItler had a vision too.

      Or for an example from the movie world, George Lucas’ “vision” of Star Wars was closer to the “Special Edition” than the original, edited version. Yet the edited version of his vision is proclaimed as one of the greatest films of all time and the vision is rightly denounced as ridiculous.

      • Dan

        wow. that was a rediculous defense of test screening. 1. Most of aronofskys films would do bad with test audiences. They can be downright uncomfortable to watch, particularly requiem. Doesn't mean its bad vision if they test poorly. 2. Test screenings have generated their fair share of travesties, and have been contributing to the issue of homoginozation of films, something that has led to in the past, and will do so again, economic collapse of the industry. 3. the star wars special editions were done 30 years later in the hopes of catching up with the market at the time in preparation for the prequels. they would not exist if it weren't for an unjustified fear that audiences would not see the movies as a unified saga.

  • Mark

    I don't think Paramount has much to worry about. Christians will probably go see this movie, for two reasons:

    1). Curiosity– As a Bible believing Christian myself, I am very curious to see how Mr. Aronofsky was able to glean enough material for a one and a half to two hour movie on Noah, since there is precious little in the source materials (ie. Genesis)

    2). Entertainment– Believe it or not, Christians ARE normal people and like to be entertained as much as anyone else. Also sometimes it is very interesting and fascinating to see someone's take on what all or how things might have occurred in Biblical accounts.

    Again, precious little is given about Noah, so I am buying my tickets expecting to be fascinated (and thus entertained) by what ideas Mr. Aronofsky will bring to “fill in the gaps” of the general story. And I do that knowing in advance what an excellent and imaginative storyteller Mr. Aronofsky is. So I am one looking forward to seeing this movie. :-)

    • PT

      Agreed. I plan to take my family to see it.

  • Naomi T.

    Variety seems to have used Noah and it definitely reads as if survey respondents already saw Noah or some materials to which they oppose. Paramount has every right to rebuke the way the article was written.

  • bizkit01

    WTF is this horrible misuse of a survey to begin with – “As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?” That question pretty much says “put a NO unless you're a retard.” Then they say 98% of people are against the film lol. Note the use of the word “replaces” to really lead the question.

  • Ronnie James

    The burning bush was refined gas, the Ark was molded fiberglass and Noah and Lot were two guys I'd seen on a violent show on my TV…

  • PT

    These folks only drink milk from a Christian cow

  • 441019

    Any Christian would say “no” to a survey which is worded in that way: “Are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie…which replaces the Bible's core message with one created by Hollywood?”
    I would be interested in seeing “Noah” out of curiosity.