There's been a whole lot in the way of Russell Crowe news reporting (Croweing?) of late. First, the actor was reported as being attached to Akiva Goldsman's Winter's Tale adaptation, then word got out that Darren Aronofsky wants him to headline Noah - and now, the news is in that the Oscar-winner could also be a serious contender to star in Elite Squad director José Padilha's RoboCop franchise reboot.
Crowe's plate for 2012 was already pretty full before these other stories started circulating, seeing how he'll soon set to work on The King's Speech director Tom Hooper's big-screen treatment of the Les Misérables musical - and now, it seems that Winter's Tale could begin production as early as September 2012.
Sure, Russell Crowe, MIGHT star in Aronofsky's NOAH... but do you know what else he MIGHT star in? Three words: Ro. Bo. Cop.
[UPDATE: Crowe has shot down the rumor that he is "involved" with the RoboCop reboot (via Twitter)]
Michael Fassbender's name has been most commonly linked to the RoboCop reboot up to now, due to both Padilha's own comments about the X-Men: First Class star - and the actor's own admission that he's open to the idea of portraying the lethal cyborg, so long as the script is up to scratch. However, Fassbender doesn't look to be available to star in the film, which MGM wants to begin production on this summer.
Similarly, Fassbender was previously said to be a contender to headline Noah, before Crowe's name entered the (official) conversation. Seeing how both Aronofsky's Biblical epic and Padhila's sci-fi series revamping are tentatively slated to start shooting around the same time, Crowe should only be available to work on one or the other - unless he ends up passing on both films, that is.
So, for discussion's sake, let's say that there's a very good chance that Crowe will ultimately sign on for either Noah or the new RoboCop. Which project sounds like the better fit for the actor?
Aronofsky's film would see Crowe tackle a more layered and nuanced iteration of an iconic religious figure than that which is customarily featured in most retellings of the Noah's Ark story. RoboCop, by comparison, would require subtle-to-little emotional expression on the actor's part (thanks to the title character's trademark visor obscuring most of his face) but would also be more of an outright physically-demanding role.
Padilha has previously mentioned that his version of the RoboCop reboot will focus more on how protagonist Alex Murphy is affected by the transformative process that results in his being a half-man, half-machine - and the subsequent existential crisis he suffers, due to his condition. So, in that sense, the lead role will likely require whoever takes it on to flex their acting muscles more than original RoboCop actor Peter Weller had to (no disrespect).
That's all to say: it's possible that both Noah and RoboCop could take full advantage of Crowe's excellent acting chops. For our money, though, we'll be rooting for the 47-year-old Aussie to sign up for Aronofsky's project, since that's the one he (arguably) is the better fit for.
We will continue to keep you updated on both Noah and RoboCop as more information is released.