Ray Winstone Offered Villain Role in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’

Published 3 years ago by

ray winstone noah darren aronofksy Ray Winstone Offered Villain Role in Darren Aronofskys Noah

Casting is fully underway for Noah, which will serve as Darren Aronofsky’s directorial followup to Black Swan. Thanks to the combined critical and financial success of that title, the indie filmmaker has managed to secure a hefty budget (early estimates were $130 million) for his Biblical retelling. Beyond that, the Noah script is said to feature some juicy roles – including that of the film’s namesake (who Russell Crowe will portray) and a coveted supporting actress part, which Emma Watson landed.

The next big role in Noah is said to be that of the prophet’s “nemesis,” a fellow who seriously questions that God would charge some commoner with preserving life on Earth (in the wake of an apocalyptic flood). Although Liam Neeson was long rumored to be a strong contender for the role, it recently came to light that Liev Schreiber (Wolverine) was a more legitimate contestant to play the character.

Deadline is reporting that “villain role” has instead been offered to Ray Winstone, who Aronofsky has deemed to possess the proper amount of “grit and size” required to convincingly handle the part opposite Crowe. It’s hard to disagree with the director on that count, given Winstone’s resume; the prolific character actor is well-renowned for his masculine turns in such films as Nil by Mouth, Sexy Beast, The Departed, Edge of Darkness, and even Beowulf (where Winstone played the title character, via motion-capture). That even holds true for Winstone’s most recent onscreen appearance, as a dwarf in Snow White and the Huntsman.

ray winstone snow white huntsman Ray Winstone Offered Villain Role in Darren Aronofskys Noah

Ray Winstone in 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Noah is based on the graphic novel co-created by Aronofsky and Handel; it marks the second occasion where those two have created a comic book that serves as a template for a film, after The Fountain. While Noah won’t have the (occasionally) confusing narrative layout of that project, it should likewise tackle some pretty lofty ideas about faith, redemption, and the interrelationship between humanity and the health of the planet. Obviously, most of those themes are inherent to the original Bible story, but Aronofsky has already voiced a desire to elaborate upon the environmental overtones of the tale – while also not censoring the more taboo topics featured in the religious source material.

It’s an ambitious task, for sure, but also one that Aronofsky and his cast seem capable of pulling off. Not to mention: those who recall how gorgeous the ethereal imagery of The Fountain was, are sure to be all the more excited to see what the filmmaker can create with a nine-digit budget at his disposal.

Noah is scheduled to set sail in theaters around the U.S. on March 28th, 2014.


Source: Deadline

TAGS: Noah
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  1. I was quite sure that meant that Ray Winstone would be playing God. Afterall God is the villain in the story of Noah.

    • You’re on to something…..

    • ummmm……wow, i’m speechless. the fact that you actually formed that thought and verbalized it is shocking to me. God is perfect, he has no evil in him, therefore he can’t be a villain.

      • I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or you actually believe this.

        • I was afraid to ask that question, lot of crazies out there that believe this stuff.

          • While I know you are an intelligent guy, I guess you still don’t understand that’s insulting.


          • @Sam – I personally don’t understand how some people CAN’T believe in something…anything greater than them. Even so, I still don’t call them “crazies”.

            Paul Young

            • Paul Young not believing in god does not mean you don’t believe in something greater.

              Facts and Science are greater than me and I believe in both. Sadly there is more scientific evidence against an all knowing powerful creator than there is to support him… Since you know there is none to support the existence.

              In fact every time a major scientific discovery comes out religion has to suddenly adapt it’s view so that people think they are not completely crazy. Science continues to compromise religion on a regular basis.

              • @Dan – I purposely didn’t say believing in God in my statement – I merely said something greater than themselves. You implied that on your own.

                Personally, I don’t understand how some people can choose to believe that random acts chaos all culminated perfectly to form both life and the events leading up to it – but that’s just me. Everyone is welcome to believe and think what they want. Don’t insult me and I won’t insult you (general statement not directed at you.)

                Anyways, let’s not debate religion on a movie site. Those conversations tend to get out of hand.

                Paul Young

          • “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” — John 20:29

      • It’s hard for a non existent being to be perfect.

  2. I’m a big fan of Mr. Winstone.
    He was amazing in The Departed and IMO the best thing about The Edge of Darkness. I also think that film is extremely underrated and should be given a bit more love.
    I hope Noah ends up being the film that officially puts Aronofsky in the mainstream. But I worry that it may end up gathering a lot of controversy.

    • I loved Edge of Darkness, great film, and Winstone was great in it. If Mel wasn’t a hate-filled maniac in real life the film probably would have done better.

    • Winston was absolutely the best thing in The Edge Of Darkness.

      • He was great in Edge of Darkness but I agree with the first comment that it’s an underrated movie.

        • It’s not a bad movie, I enjoyed it, defintely Gibson’s best for a long time.

  3. Ray Winstone will be playing a hard as nails cockney Wave that just won’t break!

    Or he’ll be a huge hard as nails cockney splinter that what get out of Noah’s thumb!

  4. Ray Winstone always delivers and dominates in a quietly charismatic way.

  5. i really have no interest in this project at all, a movie about god killing almost everybody cause he’s a little upset with them. what a jackass.

    • I agree, although I am a fan of Aronofsky’s previous work.

    • Aidan

      This comment made me laugh.

  6. What does God need with a Starship?!

  7. What does the artist do when most his painting does not live up to
    his original vision and is even a corruption of his original intention?

    He isolates and saves that portion of the canvas
    that pleases him and paints over all the rest.

  8. Some very interesting comments about the project. I think I would need to read the graphic novel to see where they’re going with this because in the biblical narrative there isn’t a clear villain, despite the assumptions that it’s God but it’s only mentioned briefly that Noah was teased.

    I’d be very interested in their interpretation of this narrative especially given that there are multiple sources used by the redactors in Genesis. So, I think this will be on my list of movies to see.

  9. Surely the villain is the God in the original story? So is Winston going to be playing a god?

    Interesting casting and concept. Haven’t really enjoyed Crowe in anything since Master and Commander though.

    • Based on the narrative there really isn’t a technical antagonist. While we might read the story and think of God as a villain who is killing all the people the text reads that world became wicked and unjust thus causing God to decide to flood the earth except to save the animals. Noah then is chosen because he is the only one who honors God. So from a a certain point of view everyone but Noah and God are the villains.

      Of course that’s one interpretation and I’m not even about to get into how many sources went in to writing the story or putting the story in Genesis. So, like you said, interesting concepts and casting. The more I discuss this movie the more I want to see it.

      • Oh I know, I am familiar with the fable. Just my interpretation is that the god is the villain in terms of committing genocide.

        It is an interesting project though to be sure.

        • Agreed. No other interpretation is even remotely logical. Genocide is always wrong.

          If some one went and blew up every prison in the world would you condemn them for killing the murderers and thieves or would you praise them as the new Messiah ?

    • @Sam – Did you just call God a villain? Surely you jest? I personally don’t think there needs to be a villain in a story like this but Hollywood is filled with mostly by-the-numbers script writing now.

      Paul Young

      • I think he means from a narrative perspective God could be seen as a villain because God chooses to wipe out the entire world, God’s creation, basically committing genocide or at least that’s what I understand when someone says that.

        It’s actually an honest approach and honest question to ask regarding this story and this film. Is God the villain because God chooses to flood the earth? Is anyone a villain? Is there a need for a villain? Is this a result of a culture that was in exile and creates a story to explain their history therefore the villain is Israel itself for their violence and unjust dominion over the earth?

        The Noah narrative is such a heavy and difficult story to just cast off as a man vs man story with a clear protagonist and clear antagonist would water down the story and avoid the deep theological issues it presents. I think Aronofsky will explore those heavy themes in his film but I haven’t read his graphic novel.

      • In terms of the story laid down in the Bible (and it is a great story) I very much see the Christian God as a villainous sort.

        • Technically since it’s in the Old Testament it’s the Hebrew God and not the Christian God (though later we relate the two). Just biblical scholarship requires that God in Genesis be referred to as YWYH and not as the Christian God cause Noah isn’t Christian. I don’t even think he’s Hebrew. But that would require me to do a little more research. I’ll ask my wife, she’s the more biblical scholar while I’m the practical theologian.

      • In this made up story there is no conclusion other than god being a villain.

        We condemn Hitler for killing millions of people.

        Lets be honest in theses fictional stories God Killed far far more than Hitler, Osama or any other mad men combined. He wiped out the planet in a giant flood on a whim.

        God could learn a thing or two from Spiderman. With great power comes great responsibility.

        • @DanF – “In this made up story there is no conclusion other than god being a villain.” – That’s your opinion (no matter how wrong I think you are).

          Let’s assume for a moment though that you are right – how is God being a villain the only conclusion you can come to? Based on your previous comments and some of our previous conversations, I think it’s safe to assume you’re an atheist and that Sam is at least an agnostic – if my assumptions are incorrect I apologize.

          Here’s the story for this film:
          *Noah believes in a God that no one else does.
          *His God tells him that because of all the sin in the world He will wipe man from it but save his family.
          *Non-believers heckle him the entire time
          *God keeps His word and floods the earth

          In order for you to buy into this story you pretty much have to be a believer in God and the Bible. Since you aren’t then the story shouldn’t hold any weight for you so…

          Here is how the story should read for you:
          *Noah is a crazy man who builds a giant boat.
          *The earth has a moment of destruction the likes of which have never been seen before.
          *Since there is no God (and man has yet to “destroy” the earth with industrialization) then mother nature is to blame.

          So, based on your reasoning mother nature is the villain – ergo, Ray Winstone is playing mother nature. :)

          “Lets be honest in theses fictional stories God Killed far far more than Hitler, Osama or any other mad men combined. He wiped out the planet in a giant flood on a whim.”

          Wait, I’m confused. You say you don’t believe in God but you still want to hold Him accountable for actions you claim never happened? You either believe or you don’t – it’s pretty cut and dry. I don’t believe in Santa Claus so I can’t blame him when I don’t get toys under the Christmas tree each year.

          Bottom line – you’re never going to convince me that a God doesn’t exist and I’m never going to convince you that He does. It’s a senseless debate to have – so, let’s not have it…at least not in the comments section.

          Paul Young

          • I’d rank Santa and God in the same catergory, the lies we are told as children, from a time when we didn’t have rational scientific explanations for the world we live in.

            • @Sam – We still don’t have rational explanations for everything. If we did then there would no longer be a use for scientists. Man’s finite mind will never fully comprehend the infinite possibilities of the universe. I find it rather obnoxious to think we can.

              Sorry you think of of religion as lies – that’s your problem not mine.

              I do find it odd though how atheists come out of the woodwork every time a movie involves the slightest hint of religion. It’s like they feel this overwhelming need to make sure everyone knows they don’t believe in God. We get it. You think you’re intellectually superior to anyone who has a religion. It’s old. It wouldn’t be so annoying if they weren’t so condescending and ruse with their backhanded comments.

              I’m not personally fond of Adam Sandler films but you won’t find me going out of my way to read nor comment on any of his upcoming projects just to make sure everyone knows where I stand.

              I’m curious Sam, do you find film news revolving around Islam, Buddhism or any other religion and proclaim their gods to also be non-existent or is it just Christianity you have a hard-on for?

              Paul Young

              • In all fairness, I don’t think anyone is personally fond of Adam Sandler.

                “their gods” You said their gods? Are they not the same thing, the basic creation story is the same for most religions. Are their gods any less valid than yours? Or did all the different gods have a JLA style club at the beginning of time to decide who did what?

                I treat absolutely all religions the same way. With little more than contempt. I understand why people need something to believe in, they don’t like the idea that they are the ones in control of their own life, and that it is their choices and decisions that affect what happens.

                • @Sam – “n all fairness, I don’t think anyone is personally fond of Adam Sandler.” – true statement lol

                  No all gods are not the same across every religion nor is the story of how the universe started. My point was, I don’t go into articles about Clash of the Titans and proclaim it’s all heresy and lies – though to be fair that IS a dead religion.

                  “I understand why people need something to believe in, they don’t like the idea that they are the ones in control of their own life, and that it is their choices and decisions that affect what happens.”

                  That’s is 100% you’re own opinion and goes back to the condescending attitude I mentioned earlier. I’m not better than you for believing in religion and you’re not better than me for NOT believing. I will however defend my belief system when I think someone is attacking it. I make no apologies for that.

                  Paul Young

              • Paul that’s a lot of Assumptions you are making.

                Firstly it should be thought that maybe he didn’t come here because of the name Noah or God. Maybe he is a fan of Aronofsky ? Maybe he’s a fan of Crowe or maybe a fan of Ray Winstone? You have no idea why he came to this topic you just assume and you know what they say about that?

                Second if you scroll up you’ll see that he didn’t start this mess either. Some body asked a simple question because he thought the story painted god in a bad light and a christian jumped on him for it. That is when Sam started his Atheist rant not before. He certainly didn’t start this or seek out the to start an argument he merely joined in to defend a belief that he agreed with from a Christian attacker.

                Why is it that Christians always paint Atheists as the bad guys?

                is what you should be asking.

          • “In order for you to buy into this story you pretty much have to be a believer in God and the Bible. Since you aren’t then the story shouldn’t hold any weight for you so…”

            Why? I can watch Supernatural and I still know that Angels/Demons/God/Satan aren’t real. You don’t have to believe in fiction to enjoy it. That’s madness.

            • @Sam – “I can watch Supernatural and I still know that Angels/Demons/God/Satan aren’t real.”

              But yet you choose not to inundate the Supernatural forums with anti-religious insults even though at it’s very core the show is rooted in some sort of religious background. Hmmm…

              Sorry, I find that slightly hypocritical.

              I get it though. You have a problem with organized religion. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last.

              Paul Young

              • “But yet you choose not to inundate the Supernatural forums with anti-religious insults even though at it’s very core the show is rooted in some sort of religious background. Hmmm”

                Because it is fiction, it uses a several thousand year old story (that was completely re-written by the Roman Empire to include Pagan and several other ideologies so they could sell it to the masses, as in, they made it up) to bolster the mythology of the show.

                I have no problem with anything uses religious undertones, I have done it twice in my own books. And I said I find this film to be an interesting project.

          • Paul that’s a fairly weak argument.

            I don’t believe Batman is real either but it doesn’t prevent me from reading a comic book or watching a movie and accepting that world and those characters as if they were.

            I’m not trying to have it both ways. I do not believe in god. I see the bible as a fictional story just like any other book. I can read a story with in it or see a film based on it and buy in to the characters and the world as if i were in that fake reality.

            I do think what happened in the Avengers was real but it didnt prevent me from caring about the characters or thinking loki was evil.

            I’m saying the character of God with in these stories when I am talking about the above.

            So in the story of Noah while not believing in god I can accept that with in this fictional tale he is real. I still see him as a bad guy. His actions are not fair or understandable.

            This character is described to be loving of all people yet is willing to wipe out an entire planet for not believing in him?

            To me that’s a villain. To compare to the Avengers again it’s much like how Loki was willing to kill those who refused to kneel before him. I accepted in that story that Loki existed and i saw his actions as evil.

            I see the same with in the story of Noah. In the story god is real. In reality he is not. That’s my stance. It’s not having it both ways it’s being able to invest your self in a story like you are suppose to.

            • @DanF – That’s a fair point…I disagree with you but it’s a fair point. We’ll leave it at that.

              Paul Young

          • Well I had a well worded response that did not contain one curse word or insult but of course it’s under moderation. I’m really curious how this system works. It flags my fair and balanced responses and when I tip a little to the rude side it makes it in.

  10. Crowe has been awesome in everything he does, he is our generations Brando, hence his casting as Jor – El

  11. Sandy, is the graphic novel in French? I did a Google search and came across a trailer and a couple of articles but none of the clips were in English so I didn’t know.

    • It should (eventually) be available in English. Maybe it’s just not been released in the U.S. yes – ?

      • I don’t think it has been released in the US yet. I’ll ask my comic shop tomorrow about it. It was just released this past year, 2011, but Amazon only has listed as Noe.

  12. I’m a big fan of Crowe and I enjoy Ray but I’ll never bother with this film. Not only do I think the message these bible stories sense is dangerous to society but I also hate Aronofsky. His films have no purpose other than to try to be weird and pretend that they are intellectual when they really aren’t.

    • Darn a typo should be sends not sense.

      Odd this comment with out any bad language or insulting attacks toward a commenter is moderated. Must simply be because it’s not praising god.

      • @DanF – You’re comment wasn’t moderated so your insult is unwarranted. You could always find another site to comment on if you are having so many problems with ours.

        Paul Young

        • My comment was flagged under moderation it said so on the screen. So either you’re wrong or you have a problem with your coding either way though I was not.

          • @Danf – Every comment gets scanned by spam and filter software. You most likely saw the “awaiting moderation” message while it was scanning other comments before being approved. It happens to me occasionally too.

            Don’t go all conspiracy theory on me. I don’t agree with your viewpoints but I’m not restricting you from saying them.

            Paul Young

    • Daniel,

      I’m curious if it’s all stories or just certain stories because there are ones in the gospels which have influenced many people in very positive and good ways such as leading the movement on civil rights and for equal rights and marriage equality. Of course arguing that point means I have to reconcile the parts that others have used in the past.

      So I get what you’re saying and agree slightly. That these stories are dangerous and need to be read carefully. But again there’s zealots of all kinds in this world who all have the brain power to interpret as they wish which does make these stories dangerous. Which is part of the reason I do what I do.

  13. Apologies – I didn’t exactly what I didn’t want to do and fanned a debate about religion on an article about a casting announcement. I’m done now and ask others to be as well.


    Paul Young

    • You did nothing wrong, you defended your beliefs from someone who was purposely attacking them with back handed insults because he thinks he is right and everyone else is wrong about religion. How delusional.

  14. Winstone is also amazing in Sexy Beast and The Proposition. I am a big fan of his. Russell Crowe after “Gladiator” was as cool to me as Ray Winstone is now after the two movies I mention above. To see them both in the same movie could be great! I’ve been waiting for Crowe to hit it out of the park since “Gladiator”. The only thing I have seen from Aronofsky is “The Wrestler”, which I thought was awesome. Right up there with Winstone, my two other favorite actors right now are Ryan Gosling and Casey Mulligan. I hope after Noah, Russel Crowe becomes one of my faves again!

  15. I loved the movie “Cold Mountain”, the first movie I saw Ray Winstone in, he played a great villain. He played a key role in the film but didn’t stand out as “Ray Winstone” to me. I saw “Sexy Beast”, “The Proposition”, “Edge of Darkness” and “Departed” later which inspired me to find out who the actor was. But in “Cold Mountain” he plays this ominous victim behind a beard that more than carries his villian-side of the story.

    Just as a side note, I was recently dragged (kind of) to the theater to see “Snow White and the Huntsman” and when the dwarf scenes came and I surprisingly found out Winstone was a dwarf, the movie became a little more watchable. It was like a little break from what was an otherwise slow movie.

    And please forgive me for this last indulgent section:
    other favorite actors- Ian McShane/Sexy Beast, Charlize Theron/Monster, Guy Pierce/The Proposition, Matt Damon/Bourne series, Leonardo DeCaprio/The Departed. fav movies not mentioned- Never Let me Go, Drive, even Iron Man II (and a billion others).

  16. “ominous *villian” not ominous “victim” in last post of mine, last line of first paragraph.