He's the driving force behind next year's $130 million take on the Biblical story of Noah. So it's perhaps fair to say that director Darren Aronofsky isn't compromising scale or ambition.
Noah is a deeply personal project for Aronofsky – about which he has been noticeably vocal. "Noah's very much been a patron saint in my life leading me toward my creative endeavours," he said. Yet his personal vision is combined with the formidable sense of scale that a $130 million budget can buy.
Sweeping Icelandic vistas stand in for the Biblical landscape, the cast is led by Hollywood star Russell Crowe as Noah himself and all of the animals featured in the film are created by legendary effects studio Industrial Light and Magic. "We had to create an entire animal kingdom," Aronofsky explained. "We basically went through the animal kingdom and pinpointed the body types we wanted: some pachyderms, some rodents, reptiles, and the bird kingdom."
All of which no doubt adds up to an expensive movie. Yet while Aronofsky's fusion of the Bible with a Lord of the Rings-esque sense of scale may appear controversial, he's nonetheless stuck to his guns.
And he's not the first director to have done so. Other filmmakers with visions include James Cameron, whose reportedly tyrannical behaviour on the set of his 1997 behemoth Titanic made headlines. Amid reports of a spiralling budget and time consuming effects work that blended practical sets with miniatures and CGI, the film steered through choppy waters to grab 11 Oscars. It was also the first film to break $1 billion at the box office.
And then there's Ridley Scott, who had entire portions of a futuristic cityscape built for his seminal 1982 sci-fi Blade Runner. Working conditions were reportedly gruelling with a great deal of shooting taking place at night. Scott's refusal to skimp on the visuals also led to something of a rift between him and star Harrison Ford. But despite the film's troubled production, it's subsequently gained a reputation as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time.
So will Aronofsky's lavish vision be justified, as Cameron's and Scott's were? Tell us what you think.
Noah is released on 28 March 2014.