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Paramount's upcoming Noah, which recently came under fire from religious groups, will not be released in three Middle East countries, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait will likely follow suit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the issue is over the film showing a prophet, which goes against Islamic law.
The Sunni Muslim institute Al-Azhar release a statement on Thursday saying that Darren Aronofsky's latest film shouldn't be screened in Egypt, reports Haaretz. "Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet."
The institute added that Noah goes "contrary to faith and to the fundamentals of the Islamic sharia [law]."
The news probably shouldn't be surprising to the movie studio, who already faced pressure over its depiction of Noah from religious groups.
Enough pressure was put on Paramount, that the studio decided to add a statement to all marketing materials of the film noting that the Russell Crowe's film "is inspired" by the Biblical story.
The statement also notes, "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 many people all over the world.
Noah is set to hits domestic theaters on March 28 and stars Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and others.
image courtesy of Paramount