We won’t get to see Noah — director Darron Aronofsky’s take on the classic biblical tale starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Anthony Hopkins — until next March (watch the trailers here), but you can see the biggest inanimate star on set: the ark.
When it came to its construction, Aronofsky and production designer Mark Friedberg started with what they didn’t want. “We wanted to do something different—no floating houseboat with two giraffes sticking out the top,” says Aronofsky. “We also realized we didn’t need a bow or a keel since the ark wasn’t being steered.”
Friedberg imagined a vessel that would look more akin to a shipping container. “This thing is meant to be a storage unit for the living species of the world and to that end whatever detail there is should be functional. We wanted to convey this as an act of immediacy, as an act of desperation—that the world is going to end and we need to survive.”
See the Hollywood version of Noah’s ark after the jump.
A year was spent conceptualizing the design — click to see Friedberg’s detailed blueprints of Noah’s Ark — the measurements were taken right from Genesis. (Of course the measurements are given in cubits which—depending on your interpretation—usually translate to being the measure from the elbow to the forefinger. Or, in even more modern terms, 20-21 inches.) “I believe it was 30 cubits by 50 cubits by 300 cubits,” says Friedberg. It took three months to build this ark out of steel, wood and foam in Long Island where it stood 50 feet tall and 500 feet long. “I think it’s put in the text to inspire awe that someone could build something that big. 5000 years later it still seems pretty big to me.”
Get an inside look at the making of Noah and more stylish movies and TV shows in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday.