We’re a little more than a month away from Noah hitting theaters, and at this point, no one has any idea whether it’ll be a massive flop, a massive hit or something in between. The truth is it probably depends on how many of the 100 million or so Evangelicals who live in the United States show up. They came in record numbers to support The Passion Of The Christ, but a new poll would have you believe they want no part of Noah.
According to Faith Driven Consumer, a whopping 98% of Christians are "not satisfied" with Hollywood’s attempts to make movies like Noah. Sounds like a complete and utter disaster, right? Well, not so fast.
I will now present to you the exact question, word-for-word, as it was asked by Faith Driven Consumer…
"As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a Biblically themed movie – designed to appeal to you – which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?"
Do you see the problem? With all due respect to Faith Driven Consumer, that’s one of the most leading poll questions I’ve ever seen. It practically begs people to answer no, whether they actually feel that way or not. It presents Hollywood ripping out The Bible’s "core message" as a fact, rather than an interpretation of the material the person asking the question is making. In addition, the words are presented with a note underneath trashing Noah and arguing a message needs to be sent to Hollywood, which is a shame because the larger issue here is one people should be talking about.
If a filmmaker wants to put a section of The Bible to paper, how loose of an interpretation is okay? An overwhelming majority of stories from the New and Old Testament are not long enough and in-depth enough to warrant a full movie. They’re fragments or excerpts; so, a screenwriter would need to make up dialogue. Is that okay, if the "core message" remains in tact? Can any subplots be added, or should Biblical material just be avoided altogether? If so, isn’t that sacrificing what could be a very fruitful medium to reach potential believers?
Fun fact: if you ever see a poll in which 98% of people agree on anything, be really, really skeptical. The number of Americans who think Aliens have visited Earth? 36%. The number of Americans who believe we didn’t land on the moon? The number fluctuates but probably 10% or so. The point is five percent or more of Americans believe pretty much anything; so, there’s no way only 2% of Christians are mad at Hollywood for making faith-based movies.
If you want a reminder of what Christians and non-Christians will see when they check out Noah, you can watch the trailer below…
Update: Paramount would like everyone to know further research has been conducted asking Christians more generally if they are excited about Noah and apparently 83%, of those aware of the movie, are interested.