Darren Aronofsky in feud with Paramount over troubled Biblical epic Noah

It stars Emma Watson and boasts a blockbuster budget, but will it be too artsy for general audiences and too offensive for the religious community?

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The Independent Culture

Darren Aronofksy's Biblical epic Noah is in trouble after bad audience reactions in test screenings across the US.

The director of the acclaimed dramas Black Swan and The Wrestler could lose his right to the final cut of the $125m film.

Paramount want significant changes made to the film, which is due for release in March next year and stars Russell Crowe and Emma Watson.

But a source close to the project told The Hollywood Reporter that Aronofsky is "very dismissive" of outside suggestions and "doesn't care" about Paramount's opinion.

"Darren is not made for studio films," the source added.

Test screenings in New York (for a Jewish audience) and Arizona (for Christians) generated a poor response, showing the film might not be welcomed by the religious community.

However, a screening for the general public in Orange County, California, didn't go down well either.

Last year, screenwriter Brian Godawa obtained the Noah script and voiced concerns that Aronofsky had created a "political propaganda piece for environmentalism".

He added [warning: spoilers]: "Turning the tale of Noah into an environmentalist screed and animal rights diatribe does violence to the Biblical meaning and turns it into something entirely alien to the original meaning of the text."