Darren Aronofsky’s big budget Bible epic, Noah, finally hits theaters today, and although the film is packed with some major surprises (those of you familiar with the Curse of Ham are going to be quite put out), there’s one twist that most of its audience will never see coming – because it’s totally absent from the film’s marketing campaign.
A twist?, you might wonder, why would a marketing campaign include a twist? Oh, only because that twist is actually the existence of an actual pack of supporting characters (not just one, not two, not even three, but a whole pack) that are ripped from the film’s traditional source material (you know, the Bible) and play a major part in some of the film’s biggest bits of action (from building the ark to battling the baddies). So why can’t you find them in any official still, trailer, or teaser?
First up, let’s take a look at the two official trailers for the project.
From these two trailers, who do you think is a major character in the film? Certainly Russell Crowe as Noah, Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth as two of his sons, Ray Winstone as a big bad, Anthony Hopkins as his enlightened grandfather, and Emma Watson as his adopted daughter. Oh, and the birds and the snakes and the mammals, those guys, too.
Here, now take a look at a batch of official stills and a handful of screencaps from those trailers:
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What if we told you that at least four of those stills have been changed to edit out some major characters? Weird, right?
Not if you know what they are.
Aronofsky’s film includes a number of subplots, including one about the “Nephalim,” who are mentioned in Genesis 6:4. The “Nephalim” are interpreted as being the children of “sons of God” and the “daughters of men,” and one of two major theories holds that they are the offspring of angels, the “sons of God” who came to Earth and mingled with the “daughters of men.” They are also generally viewed as being massive, giant beings.
But Aronofsky’s film takes a differnet view of them – here, they are “The Watchers,” a line of fallen angels who came to Earth (fell to Earth) after Adam and Eve committed Original Sin. They came to help man, and they were punished by God for their fall – instead of hitting the Earth and emerging in their usual stunning form, they crashed into the land, melted into rock, and rose up as huge near-monsters that look like piles of rocks and move like a broken down Transformer. They are not pretty, they’re frankly pretty weird, and despite not showing up in any marketing in their film form, they play a huge part in the film itself.
They help Noah build the ark, for goodness sakes.
The Watchers do, however, appear in their original form in some of Noah’s marketing, though it’s hard to imagine that anyone would see the streaking angels and think, hey, I bet these guys turn into giant rock monsters.
Here, the angels start falling to Earth:
And later, they help Noah and his family in a massive battle (yes, those gold streaks are the Watchers, no, you won’t see any rocks here):
If you’re looking for a Watcher from Noah, you’re not going to find them – until you see the actual film, when you’ll probably be shocked by both their appearance and their importance to the plot.
Even a Google Image search for “Noah The Watchers,” turns up a single picture of an actual Watcher – one that shows Nick Nolte apparently giving voice to his character – which Aronofsky himself tweeted back in January:
And yet, you won’t see a bit of that in any official marketing. The Watchers may as well not exist in the film – until, well, they actually do exist inside the actual film.
Noah opens today.
Major props to freelance film writer and editor David Ehrlich for so astutely pointing this out on his Twitter account.