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AKIPRESS.COM - The Hollywood epic about Noah's ark has managed to unite Christians and Muslims, Mail Online reported today.
Members of the two religions condemn the £75-million film Noah for its take on the Biblical hero.
The blockbuster has already been banned in three Arab countries after religious leaders complained that it depicted the Biblical figure – who is also a prophet in the Koran. Due to premiere later this month, the film will not show in Qatar, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates.
But it appears that America's devout Christians are also annoyed about the portrayal of the antediluvian patriarch, claiming after test screenings that director Darren Aronofsky had made him “too dark”.
In exchange for his eight-figure budget, the auteur filmmaker was forced to allow backer Paramount to conduct as many as half a dozen test screenings to test the waters while work was still in progress.
A representative of an Australian pentecostal megachurch present for one warned The Hollywood Reporter: “If you're expecting it to be word for word from the Bible, you're in for a shock. There can be an opportunity for Christians to take offense.”
Another viewer at a separate test screening was more blunt, saying it depicted Noah as a “crazy, irrational, religious nut' who is obsessed with apparently modern day problems like overpopulation.”
The criticisms come as of the world's most respected Islamic institutions issued a fatwa – a ruling or injunction under the laws of Islam – against the Hollywood epic because it “contradicts the teachings of Islam”.
Islam forbids representing holy figures in art, instead using conceptual line patterns and lettering to adorn the walls of mosques.
A whole chapter of the Koran is devoted to Noah, who legend tells built an ark which saved himself, his family and many pairs of animals from a great flood. He also features prominently in the Biblical book of Genesis and is revered by Christians and Jews.
The film also stars Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson, and will premiere in the U.S. on March 28.
A spokesman for Paramount Pictures said: “Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates officially confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries.”