It's been reported recently that director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount have been clashing over the final cut of his forthcoming biblical epic/environmentalist action movie "Noah," particularly following some troubling test screenings in New York, Arizona and California. But very little of that matters after watching the new trailer (you can watch the domestic version above and an international cut, with slightly different footage and a much better font, below); it's going to be a jaw-dropper.

In the movie, Russell Crowe plays Noah, Anthony Hopkins is his father Methuselah, Jennifer Connolly is Naameh, Noah's foxy wife, and Emma Watson is Ila, Noah's foxy adopted daughter. The word "foxy daughter" is actually straight out of the bible, so I'm not being sacrilegious here. Ray Winstone plays Tubal-cain, Noah's nemesis and the seeming leader of all of those earthly folks who would rather not die in a cataclysmic flood. Also involved: lots of computer generated animals (in the international trailer, one of his family members balks at the snakes, but Noah assures them, "All that crawls, all that slithers," will be welcome in the ark).

Visually, this thing looks amazing, even without getting a good look at the animals, which instead of being photo-realistic are somewhat fantastical and monster-y (yes, Aronofsky's weirdness remains intact, $125 million budget be damned). Some of the footage recalls Aronofsky's original, much grander plans for his sci-fi romance "The Fountain," which was set to star Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt, before Pitt left last-minute and Aronofsky was forced to cancel the film, then regroup with a much smaller budget (and Hugh Jackman standing in for Pitt).

Tonally, it seems to straddle the line between preachy Sunday morning business and the kind of environmentalist angle that the director had always been aiming for. The idea that the end of the world is just the beginning is hopeful, and not without meaning for our modern life. We seem to be headed towards that direction, but I haven't seen anybody working on an ark.

Of course, it would be nice to think that Arnonofsky, who last directed the Oscar-winning psychosexual horror story "Black Swan," will weather the studio's concerns and be given carte blanche here. He certainly deserves it, based on his history and this stunning footage. The movie is supposed to open in March of next year. Hopefully, only a biblical flood could stop it.

[via Apple Trailers]