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Paramount Alters 'Noah' Marketing for Religious Groups, but How Far Can It Go?

Russell Crowe as Noah
Russell Crowe as Noah

Paramount has been facing an uphill battle trying to win over religious groups in the lead-up to Darren Aronofsky's Bibical epic, Noah. In the wake of test screenings that showed some people of faith took issue with Aronofsky's approach to the material, which includes his adding a number of elements not part of the original text, Paramount has decided to alter its marketing for the film at the request of a religious broadcasting group.

In a statement released by Paramount and The National Religious Broadcasters, the studio will now add an explanatory message ahead of any future marketing material for Noah, so that audiences know that this is not a straight re-telling of the story but a dramatization inspired by the story of Noah. Oh for Chrissakes! Here is the text of the message that will be included in future trailers, the movie's website, and all radio and print materials....

“The film is inspired by the story of Noah.
While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.
The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

The move was made after an appeal by Jerry Johnson, President CEO of The National Religious Broadcasters, and he at least seems appreciative Paramount decided to make this move.

Johnson: "We are grateful that Paramount is striving, with this disclaimer, to strike a proper balance between artistic creativity, character development, and honoring the sacred Scripture."

Never mind that if Aronofsky had stuck to the text we'd be talking about a 15-minute movie, but whatever. As distasteful as I may find this, it's a move I understand Paramount making. With the bulk of the attention recently focusing on the number of Christians who won't see the movie at the urging of some religious websites, they had to do something like this to try and get those people back. Never mind that the studio and Aronofsky have been bending themselves into pretzels for weeks to say the film respects the beliefs of people of faith.

But what I want to know is where does this go now? Does it mean if enough people complain we can get a disclaimer in front of Son of God claiming it was inspired by the work of men and not the word of an imaginary deity? Because if so, send that petition my way now. It's a slippery slope, one that may not go where these supposedly tread-upon religious groups want it to go.

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