Hollywood can make Bible-based films but they shouldn't tinker with the story
A majority of Christians are happy for Hollywood to make Bible-based movies but they should stick to the original story.
That's according to a poll by BibleGateway.com to coincide with the release of Noah.
The poll found that just over 60 per cent of Christians believe Hollywood adaptations of Bible stories are acceptable but only if they adhere strictly to the details of the original story.
Over a quarter (28 per cent) said Bible stories were a good fit for the big screen and can withstand artistic licence, while a smaller minority (11 per cent) think Hollywood should stay away from Bible stories.
The release of Darren Aronofsky's version of Noah has stirred debate about the adaptation of Bible stories for the big screen and the extent to which it's acceptable for directors to be creative with the stories.
The Noah film has split opinion among Christians, with some outright refusing to see it.
Those who have seen it are divided over whether it is good entertainment or whether the rock monsters, family feuding and other aspects of the film are a step too far from the original Old Testament story.
Whatever people think, one thing it has done is stir up interest in the Bible story of Noah. BibleGateway reports that the opening weekend of Noah at the box office saw a 223 per cent increase on the previous weekend in visits to their page on the Noah story.
Speaking to The Christian Post, film critic Brett McCracken questioned whether strictly adhering to the original version of any story was actually workable in practice.
"In any adaption of a text that is going from one medium to another, for example, from the written to visual on screen, you have to make some adjustments," he said.
"You have to add and subtract. You have to edit things and make adjustments and put dialogue in the mouths of characters.
"It wouldn't be much of a movie if Russell Crowe's character didn't say anything."
His comments echo those made by Emma Watson, who played Noah's daughter in the film.
In the run-up to the film's release, the British actress said it had to be adapted for the screen to give the characters dialogue and create more female roles.
"If we had gone with exactly the original story, Noah doesn't say anything until he steps off the ark. You would have been watching a silent film," she said.