Russell Crowe pitched a screening of his upcoming biblical blockbuster Noah to one man who knows the plot quite well: Pope Francis. "The message of the film is powerful, fascinating, resonant," Crowe tweeted, though the Vatican has yet to respond.
Crowe asked his followers to help spread the word via retweets, before apologizing to the Pope for causing havoc in his social media world. He added: "Holy Father, it would be my deepest pleasure to bring the @DarrenAronofsky film to you to screen. That this may happen Inshallah." ("Inshallah" is Arabic for "God willing.")
Darren Aronofsky's retelling of the classic tale of the flood and Noah's ark opens March 28th, and then in Italy two weeks later – though we imagine if Pope Francis did agree to watch the movie, he could probably get an advanced copy.
There is no precedent for a film screening at the Vatican under the new Pope. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, when asked if the Pope might screen the Oscar-nominated Philomena (which involves the church putting the child of a single mother up for adoption without telling her), a spokesman said Pope Francis does not watch films. In an interview last year, though, Pope Francis did express his love of films from classic Italian directors like Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini.
An endorsement from the Pope could be a huge boon to the film, which is already experiencing some backlash from Christian groups who claim it doesn't hew close enough to the original biblical story. But Paramount, the film's studio, doesn't seem to be phased, alleging that more than four out of five religious moviegoers are interested in seeing Noah.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Aronofsky addressed these issues, saying that Noah remains a faithful adaptation of the original Bible story even if some dramatization was required to turn the four-chapter tale into a two-hour movie.
"We tried to remain truthful to the themes and the ideas that are written, but to create a dramatic story for a 21st-century audience," he said. "I think people who are believers will see the ideas and the values that they're looking for represented in the film, and I think people who are non-believers, or come from different traditions, are going to be excited because it's not your grandmother's Bible. It's something new, something big and something different."