For a minute, after picking up a Best Actor Academy Award for his work in Gladiator, I thought Russell Crowe was destined for the prestige path, a career of Oscar-baity roles wavering in quality. A Beautiful Mind, Master & Commander, Cinderalla Man, A Good Year—nothing particularly bad, but nothing particularly exciting.
But recently, and without warning, Crowe has been defying expectations left and right. He's shot a kung fu movie directed by Wu Tang Clan's RZA (The Man with the Iron Fists), canned a cameo role in the next Superman movie, sparred against Mark Wahlberg in Broken City, he's singing his lungs out as Javert in the big screen musical Les Miserables and he's agreed to a small role alongside Will Smith in Winter's Bone. Woof. How could he top all that? By taking the iconic role of Noah, of course.
Apparently Crowe has enough time to take on yet another super-sized part, as he's currently in talks to star in Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky's epic Noah's Ark. There is little known on how Aronofsky plans to beef up the Biblical tale for the big screen, but it's safe to assume that the giant flood effects and a host of animals should skyrocket the budget into the blockbuster territory. Crowe is one of the remaining stars in the biz, so his inclusion in the project should help the movie get off the ground. The Grey star Liam Neeson is also in talks for an unspecified role (did Noah have an archnemesis?).
Noah is just another unexpected and welcome notch on Crowe's belt, and could be one of number of potential projects that aim to evolve the actor's career (apparently, he's also in talks for the upcoming Robocop remake). From his decision-making process, there's little Crowe believes he can't do. I tend to agree.