Director of Noah opts to create CGI animal kingdom

Noah, a movie version of the biblical tale of Noah’s ark, will hit theaters March 28. No animals were harmed in the making of this film… because no live animals were used at all.

In an interview with Peta, director Darren Aronofsky said that using live animals on set would be “against the actual themes of the film.” Instead, he chose to use computer-generated imagery (CGI).

According to the International Business Times, in 2006, during the making of The Fountain, Aronofsky worked with live primates and was disturbed by the conditions in which the animal actors were kept. This time, he wanted to do things differently.

“Many people over the years in films have tried to mix all kinds of animals in the animal kingdom and the results were usually disastrous,” Aronofsky said in the interview. “There’s really no reason to do it any more because the technology has arrived.”

But what about movies that don’t utilize this technology and opt to continue using live animals instead? What laws protect them from mistreatment?

Unfortunately, there are no federal or state laws that directly apply to animals in movies. Indirectly, they’re partially protected by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and state laws that prohibit animal cruelty and neglect.

Guidelines set out by the American Humane Association are the only regulations specific to animal actors. That’s where the “No Animals Were Harmed” disclaimer at the end of movies comes from.

Watch the interview with Aronofsky and learn more about the future of animals in film and TV here: