When your sitting in Jerry Bruckheimer's office and you're discussing next summer's big event film, the type of film you're generally discussing is usually along the lines of "Pearl Harbor," "Pirates Of The Caribbean," "Independence Day," a Will Smith film that features robots or Tommy Lee Jones, "2012," "Godzilla Destroys Things In New York," "The Avengers" and a bar mitzvah hosted by Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay.
But if you're filmmaker Darren Aronofsky ("The Fountain," "Requiem For A Dream") an "event movie" has very different connotations. The "Black Swan" director seems hellbent on making his next project his biggest and most ambitious to date -- a $130 Million take on the bible's Noah's Ark tale.
Of course this story was recently told, to some extent at least, by Universal's "Evan Almighty" starring Steve Carell, but of course no one would blame you if you didn't see the similarties (or the film) -- Tom Shadyac's pictures ("Ace Ventura") obviously being in another galaxy than Aronofsky's.
The director recently caught up with IFC at the 2011 Provincetown International Film Festival, and gave a small update on the picture, noting that maybe Mr. Emmerich should possibly pay attention.
"I don't think it's a very religious story," Aronofsky told IFC. "I think it's a great fable that's part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think it's a great story that's never been on film. I want to make a big event film, and I think it can be that."
A big event film and the guy that directed the micro-budgeted "Pi" or even the small-scale and comedic, "The Wrestler"? It's not as absurd as it sounds. Aronofsky has flirted with big tentpoles throughout the years. He obviously almost directed "The Wolverine" with Hugh Jackman (bailing recently because of lack of creative control), pitched a "Year One" Batman film to Warner Bros. with Frank Miller that eventually morphed into Christopher Nolan's totally different "Batman Begins" and attempted to mount a $70 million version of "The Fountain" starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett a few years before the eventual 2006 version starring Jackman and Aronofsky's ex-partner Rachel Weisz.
And as ridiculous as this might sound regardless of all the evidence that the director's been building towards this, "Black Swan" was a mega-hit. Made for $13 million and grossing $323 million worldwide, Aronofsky should hopefully now fully possess the clout to pull this off.
As for the rumors of Christian Bale, joining the "Noah" project as its lead, not forgetting Aronofsky was the first one to pitch Bale as Batman to Warner Bros.? "No comment," he said with a grin. Should we assume that means, happy days, we're just waiting for the funding to come through? Let's hope so.