Although it's been pretty much a foregone conclusion that Russell Crowe is set to headline Darren Aronofsky's Noah film for the past two months, Paramount Pictures and New Regency just barely officially confirmed that the star of such Oscar-winning titles as Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind will indeed portray the titular Biblical figure for Aronofsky.
Principal photography gets underway on Noah this July, so as to make a March 2014 theatrical release date. Certain portions of the film will be shot in Iceland - which has also recently provided natural landscapes for Ridley Scott's Prometheus and HBO's Game of Thrones series - though, a good chunk of production will unfold on sound stages in New York.
Here is the studio-sanctioned logline for Noah (via the official press release):
NOAH is a close adaptation of the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark. In a world ravaged by human sin, Noah is given a divine mission: to build an Ark to save creation from the coming flood. The screenplay was written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel and revised by Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter John Logan (GLADIATOR, HUGO).
Even before Crowe came aboard for Noah - which is based on Aronofsky and Handel's graphic novel treatment of the original Biblical story - the involvement of the director behind such titles as Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan was enough to ensure our attention. Plus, with a budget of $130 million at his disposal, Aronofsky will finally have the chance to fully-realize his vision of a Roland Emmerich scale, effects-heavy apocalyptic blockbuster, which the filmmaker has (to some degree) been sitting on since his original, costlier, version of The Fountain fell apart during pre-production.
Casting rumors for the supporting roles in Noah are already circulating, with people like Liam Neeson, Crowe's Beautiful Mind co-star Jennifer Connelly and Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) currently rumored to be either in talks or in mind to appear in the film. Expect something more official on the matter in the near future, as Aronofsky gears up to start shooting his religious, environmental disaster picture.
Noah is scheduled to arrive in theaters around the U.S. on March 28th, 2014.
Source: Paramount Pictures/New Regency