Inside a giant warehouse ringed by trailers and generators on the outskirts of this frozen city, dozens of Mayan warriors stood ready, all armed with spears. The polyglot atmosphere on the movie set thickened at every turn: bare-bottomed men who spoke Mayan received directorial instructions in Spanish from Americans who also have enough French to make nice with the local crew of The Fountain.[tags=The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky]
The movie is a science-fiction epic that spans three historical periods and rides on a bit of time travel. It is directed by the Brooklyn-born Darren Aronofsky, who came to out of nowhere with the mathematics-themed thriller Pi and followed up with the addiction drama Requiem for a Dream, both of which were produced with a lot of moxie and very little money and played to major critical acclaim. Backed by Warner Brothers, The Fountain was supposed to be Aronofsky's breakout studio movie, with a budget approaching $100 million and Brad Pitt in a lead role. But just weeks before it was scheduled to shoot in 2002, with crew and actors already ensconced in Australia, Pitt abandoned the project for Troy, saying he had issues with the script. In Hollywood, that generally would be the end of the story.
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