Apparently, Egypt is not the only place where Aronofsky’s Noah will not be seen. Reports have been coming from other Middle Eastern countries who are refusing to show the auteur director’s vision of the Biblical character of Noah, for the very same reasons.
Thankfully, there haven’t been any more reports of threats to “destroy” theaters should the film be shown. But this just continues to add to the interesting dilemma that exists with American filmmakers trying to tap into the lucrative religious market in the United States. Overseas markets are a pretty substantial chunk of the returns on major films these days, and when the subject of the film is religious, the overseas response has to be taken into consideration.
Another recent film with obvious religious overtones has been Burnett and Downey’s Son of God, which is a film about the life of Jesus. While well-received among Christian audiences, the film has been largely panned by many as being poor filmmaking about a good subject. But will the film play well in Muslim countries? Apparently not, since most Muslim countries consider Jesus a prophet, and therefore taboo for filmmaking. But how much do Muslim markets matter to the final numbers? Not much, apparently, as the films are being made and released in any market that will have them. Even under threat of theaters being destroyed.
This is one of those moments that I’m glad to be a lowly little author trying to get a book published, rather than a studio executive, trying to market a controversial film.