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Oscar nominee Darren Aronofsky looks ahead to Wolverine and Noah

February 15, 2011 |  8:00 am

Aronofsky 
Director Darren Aronofsky, Oscar-nominated for “Black Swan,” has plenty of experience with haters questioning his projects, his taste, his sanity. And the detractors are at it again, wondering why he’s wasting his time directing the “X-Men” offshoot “The Wolverine.” (Short answer: Money — both for himself and his movie’s budget.)

But for those Aronofsky true believers worried that the filmmaker behind such downbeat, indie favorites as “Requiem for a Dream” and “Pi” is turning conventional, the 42-year-old director reveals he’s not past pushing for ambitious projects on the level of “The Fountain,” his demanding Mobius strip meditation on love, death and religion.

Next up (“fingers crossed,” says Aronofsky): A sci-fi adaptation of the Noah’s Ark tale from the Book of Genesis.

“I’m a huge fan,” Aronofsky says, noting his interest goes back to childhood when he saw the low-budget Sunn Classic Pictures documentary “In Search of Noah’s Ark” at a movie theater.

Aronofsky has been working on the screenplay for the past six years and plans on soon publishing the first of a four-part graphic novel based on his story and drawn by Canadian artist Nico Henrichon. He hopes the novel will secure studio financing so he can move forward with the film after finishing “The Wolverine.”

Aronofsky’s Noah might be a bit different from the bearded boat-builder most remember from the Bible. Aronofsky sees Noah as the “first environmentalist,” a complicated character tormented by surviving an apocalypse as well as the “first person to plant vineyards, drink wine and get drunk.”

In other words: Don’t plan on bringing the family to this biblical epic.

“I was stunned going back and realizing how dirty some of those stories are,” Aronofsky says. “They’re not PG in any way. They’re all about sleeping with your brother’s sister who gives you a child who you don’t know. That kind of stuff got censored out of our religious upbringing.”

 — Glenn Whipp

Photo of Darren Aronofsky by Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

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