Paramount is hoping to capitalize on the type of controversy that drove The Passion of the Christ to a box office high by making sure word gets out about Muslims censoring the film in several Middle East countries. Censorship boards in Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates will not allow the film. Similar rejections have come from Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the leading Sunni Muslim institute Al-Azhar said any such movie is “contrary to faith.”
While Muslims have chosen to protect their families from seeing inaccurate content, the National Religious Broadcasters, an organization made up of Christian radio and television stations, merely asked Paramount to issue one of three statements within its advertising to clarify that Noah is not accurate:
“The film is inspired by the story of Noah.
While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.
The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
Paramount, in hopes that the statements would increase controversy and box office revenue, immediately complied.
It doesn’t take too much web surfing to realize controversy is starting to rise thanks to the extra boost Christians are giving the film. Some Christians are suggesting followers avoid it and remind readers that it will cause people to misinterpret and misquote scripture.
One blogger pointed out a few scripturally incorrect moments in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments and how Christians still today quote the film version over the Bible as truth. Others wrote a list of reasons why Christians needed to watch the inaccurate version of Noah for evangelistic reasons.
The winner of the various posts bantering about the film is Paramount who is expecting Noah to rise above the $300MM mark. Some have estimated that the Biblically inaccurate account would crash and burn within two weeks if it weren’t for Christians increasing the films attention and supporting it with their dollars.
As for the war against the accuracy of scripture, the Muslims are leading the charge and have taken a strong stance against the film. Not only do they want to protect families from the film’s inaccuracy, their laws also prohibits the depiction of prophets in order to avoid people believing the film over the scriptures, as demonstrated by The Ten Commandments.
So the question I propose is… “Will you see Noah, which releases on March 28th?”