From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Fountain is a 2006 American science fiction/fantasy film directed by Darren Aronofsky that follows three interwoven narratives that take place in the age of conquistadors, the modern-day period, and the far future. The film stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, whose characters' romance exists in all three time periods. The Fountain explores the themes of love and mortality, drawing influences from the The Fountain of Youth and The Tree of Life. The film is framed with visual language by using transition scenes, light, and shapes. It was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and Regency Enterprises, and was distributed by 20th Century Fox outside of the US.
Originally to be filmed in 2002 on a budget of $70 million with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the lead, The Fountain shut down production as a result of Pitt's departure. Aronofsky was able to resurrect the project in 2005 with half the budget. The director incorporated visual effects into The Fountain by using minimal computer-generated imagery; he reduced the use of computers by using inexpensive footage provided by a macro-photographer. The Fountain was commercially released in the United States on November 22, 2006, to divided reviews. The Fountain was originally rated R for some violence by the MPAA, but was re-rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violent action, some sensuality and language for its final release.