It’s gone through rigorous and voluminous re-editing, been criticised by religious groups and faced corporate intervention, but despite Darren Aronofsky’s Noah finally getting a finished cut in Europe and America, proceedings inside the UAE haven't been going smoothly at all.

NoahWe'll be seeing Noah as its director intended

“We haven’t decided whether it’s OK or not. We will decide after watching the full movie next week and after a report is made,” said Juma Obeid Al Leem, the director of Media Content Tracking at the National Media Council, the authority tasked with approving films in the UAE.

“Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE officially confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries,” the representative, who suggested the film wouldn’t be released in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, stated according to Reuters. “The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because ‘it contradicts the teachings of Islam’.”

Cairo’s Al Azhar - the highest authority of Sunni Islam and a centre for Islamic teaching for over a millennium, issued a fatwa - a religious injunction - against the film on Thursday. “Al Azhar... renews its objection to any act depicting the messengers and prophets of God and the companions of the Prophet [Mohammad], peace be upon him,” it announced in a statement. They “provoke the feelings of believers... and are forbidden in Islam and a clear violation of Islamic law,” the fatwa added.

The film also caused controversy in the U.S, which religious groups initially rejected it. “The controversy is all about the unknown and about the fear of people trying to exploit a Bible story," Aronofsky told Variety magazine.

“It will all disappear as soon as people start seeing the film.” In its marketing, Paramount is adding this disclaimer: “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”