Hollywood Gets Religion: Darren Aronofsky Builds an Ark While Will Smith Looks to Direct the Conflict Between Cain and Abel

Everyone knows how much the movie-making world relies on trends. If one studio has a superhero movie that hits, suddenly everyone has to have their own superhero movie. If one movie featuring a bow and arrow toting protagonist scores big at the box office, suddenly a flood of Hollywood’s top names find themselves having to take archery lessons. Savvy producers are the ones who are always on the lookout for what the next big trend is going to be. So, now that we’ve gotten through a whole summer of William Tell wannabes, what’s the next big trend that’s going to hit theaters? If Darren Aronofsky or Will Smith are able to bring in the bucks with either of their brewing projects, it might be adaptations of bible stories.

The first bit of biblical news floating around today comes from a Tweet sent out directly by Aronofsky himself (via Vulture). Yesterday the Black Swan director took to his Twitter account and sent the following message out to his followers, “I dreamt about this since I was 13. And now it’s a reality. Genesis 6:14 #noah.” Of course, seeing as he’s currently at work making a Russell Crowe-starring adaptation of the story of Noah, it doesn’t take much detective work to figure out that the image of a gigantic wooden structure in mid-construction accompanying his words must be the Ark that’s being built for the film. Yeah, that’s right, CG be damned – Aronofsky is going practical with his giant wooden boat.

Another oldie but goodie from the Good Book is the story of Adam and Eve’s at-odds children Cain and Abel, and it’s looking like we’re about to get a big screen adaptation of their tale as well. Will Smith is one of the biggest names in the history of the business, an actor so successful he’s given almost unprecedented control over most of his projects (on which he usually serves as a producer), so it only makes sense that eventually he was going to want to try his hand at directing. And, according to a report from Deadline Damascus, Smith is looking at the Cain and Abel tale to be the basis of the project he cuts his teeth on.

A script with the working title of The Redemption of Cain has been floating around for a while now, waiting for the right time to go into production, and it’s now being said that Sony is saving it as a directing vehicle for Smith. Of course, Smith has charms that can’t be left to simply wilt behind the scenes, so the plan is for him to have a starring role in the film as well.

Given the past successes and powerful pedigrees of both Aronofsky and Smith, one can only imagine that Noah and this Redemption of Cain project will be given big releases and lots of promotion if and when they’re ready to premiere. With both of these films potentially taking up big slots on future release schedules and the rumblings of Steven Spielberg getting close to telling the Moses story with Gods and Kings, could we be getting ready to see a resurgence of Catholicism in modern culture? Chances are probably good, but we’ll have to wait until somebody announces they’re making a biblical reality show to know for sure. Then it will be Sunday School all over again.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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