- (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
After months of speculation and changes in casting, the deal has purportedly been sealed – Russell Crowe will star in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic "Noah."
According to Deadline.com, New Regency Productions and Paramount Pictures has finally settled on Crowe to take the lead role in the upcoming film, which claims to be a fantasy epic and edgy retelling of the famous Bible story.
When contacted by The Christian Post asking for confirmation, New Regency did not immediately respond.
Previously, Christian Bale was scouted for the role, but due to schedule conflicts was unable to commit. Instead of building an ark, Bale will be working with Terrence Malick in "Lawless" and "Knight of Cups," both of which will be filmed this year.
Michael Fassbender, ("X-Men: First Class", "Jane Eyre", "Inglorious Basterds") was also considered but pulled out because he would be working on Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years a Slave."
Deadline believes the "larger than life" "L.A. Confidential" star would be a great fit for "Noah" and one of the few actors who would be able to pull off such an iconic role.
Crowe will be working with New Regency again, which helped produce "L.A. Confidential" – a film that brought him much exposure and acclaim in Hollywood. He was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance for his role as Detective Wendell White.
He will also be teaming up with John Logan who previously rewrote the "Gladiator" script as well as Aronofsky and Ari Handel's "Noah" script.
The "Black Swan" director expressed a desire to work with Crowe for his new film, which is set for a fall 2013 release date.
Shooting is supposed to begin this July in New York and Iceland, according to screenrant.com.
Aronofsky has been interested in adapting the biblical classic to the big screen since he was 13 years old when he wrote a poem that talked about Noah's perception on the end of the world. He won a United Nations poetry competition at his Brooklyn school for the piece.
"Since I was a kid, I have been moved and inspired by the story of Noah and his family's journey," the "Requiem for a Dream" director previously stated.
"The imaginations of countless generations have sparked to this epic story of faith. It's my hope that I can present a window into Noah's passion and perseverance for the silver screen."
The 43-year-old screenwriter also hopes to recruit Liam Neeson to play the villain who constantly doubts whether Noah is doing God's will by building the ark.
There has been no word as of yet confirming Neeson's role in the $130 million budgeted movie.
A formal announcement declaring Crowe's involvement in the movie is expected to be released next week.