Darren Aronofsky Scores Russell Crowe for $130 Million ‘Noah’

Russell CroweDarren Aronofsky is building one pretty high-profile boat. Since the summer of 2011, the Kohl’s commercial director (he also did Black Swan, but no big whoop) has spoken to acting greats like Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender and Liam Neeson about joining his biblical epic Noah as the lead role.

And while any one of these men would make a fine choice to rally a whole bunch of animals onto a holy cruise line while humanity perishes in an apocalyptic flood (Bale can handle a Noah beard like a champ, and Fassbender is pretty much a biblical figure already), a fourth candidate eventually snagged the title: Russell Crowe. Now that Crowe is officially on board for Aronofsky’s movie, and shooting is set to begin in July 2012.

Since the turn of the century, America has loved Darren Aronofsky. But it took the country ten years to realize that—and to start remembering his name. In the year 2000, the director released Requiem for a Dream, widely considered a cinematic masterpiece. Over the course of the next decade, Aronofsky contributed only three more films. He gave the world The Fountain in 2006, followed by The Wrestler in 2008. Both good movies, but hardly up to the caliber of his 2010 phenomenon Black Swan, which has launched the filmmaker to impressive levels of notoriety. And his next attempt at the big screen doesn’t look to disappoint.

As far as the casting decision goes, Crowe at the head (Bow? Cockpit? Mission Control?) of a boat might incur unwelcome comparisons to Master and Commander. But there’s little doubt that Aronofsky will make something unforgettable with this project.