Darren Aronofsky’s revisionist and ambitious take on the classic Noah’s Ark biblical tale will start filming in the summer and according to Deadline, Oscar-winning Australian actor Russell Crowe is wanted for the title role of Noah. Interestingly Gladiator writer John Logan has most recently helped Aronofsky with the script.
Meanwhile, Aronofsky is also hoping to get Liam Neeson attached for another key role with some suggesting he could be in line to play the ‘major villain’ that Aronofsky’s DP Matthew Libatique suggested his director was searching for. Now I haven’t read the bible since school but wasn’t the weather and God the villain in Noah’s Ark fable? So is Neeson, who has already played Zeus, now playing God or am I missing something?
Update: According to Jeff Wells on a recent Oscar Poker chat, the villain is much more human;
“Someone who’s saying ‘Listen, don’t listen to him. We’re fine! We don’t need to build any ark. Don’t be so alarmist! Don’t be so fundamentalist.’ You know? One of those guys. So it sounded like a lot of fun, actually.”
No deals have been signed as of yet but Paramount/New Regency are said to be backing the Black Swan director financially and as long as Crowe & Neeson like the idea of the movie and their schedules align, they will be available for the right money. Paramount are putting $130 million into what we hear is a dark and complex take on Noah, this isn’t the kind of Golden Age of Hollywood blockbuster based on the bible’s most outlandish story that you might have expected.
Aronofsky has been trying to crack Noah for the best part of the last six years (at least anyway as that’s only since his desire became public) but after he dropped plans to make The Wolverine, he got serious about making it.
We had heard previously that Aronofsky had wanted method man and fellow Oscar winner Christian Bale for the leading role but with him busy working on two Terrence Malick films, attention has turned to Russell Crowe right now, an actor who when he is on his game in films like Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and L.A. Confidential (I know, a lot of years ago now) there are few who can match him. He really is like the Marlon Brando of his career and when he has the passion for something, his intensity is off the charts. Just like Brando, Crowe is currently cameo-ing in the Elder Statesman role as Superman’s father Jor-El in Man of Steel for Zack Snyder but if he takes this role on, seemingly hasn’t moved into his twilight years yet.
Hollywood’s new go-to man Michael Fassbender was also spoken of but Paramount want a huge star for this and Crowe seems to tick all boxes.