Mike Fleming

Deadline was the first to reveal that Russell Crowe was Darren Aronofsky’s choice to star in Noah, the coproduction between Paramount Pictures and New Regency. The partners just announced his closed deal. Deadline also reported that Liam Neeson was circling the other major lead. We’ll have to see if that one sticks. Here’s the announcement:

HOLLYWOOD, CA (April 22, 2012) – Paramount Pictures and New Regency Productions jointly announced today that Academy Award®-winner Russell Crowe has been cast as Noah in Academy Award®-nominated director Darren Aronofsky’s feature film of the same name. Paramount will release the film on March 28, 2014.

Said Aronofsky, “I’d like to thank Paramount and Regency for backing my team’s work to breathe new life into the biblical epic. I rejoice that Russell Crowe will be by my side on this adventure. It’s his immense talent that helps me to sleep at night. I look forward to being wowed by him every day.”

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).

Scott Franklin and Aronofsky of Protozoa Pictures, along with Mary Parent of Disruption Entertainment, will produce the film. The film will be executive produced by Ari Handel (BLACK SWAN), Arnon Milchan of New Regency and Chris Brigham (INCEPTION, ARGO).

The movie will begin shooting this July in Iceland and New York.

Crowe is repped by WME.