Ben Child 

Ray Winstone set to star opposite Russell Crowe in Noah’s ark epic

Reports claim Winstone will play villain in Darren Aronofsky's take on biblical story, which could also feature Jennifer Connelly
  
  

If you were not previously aware that biblical figures spoke with south London accents and had a particular penchant for labelling themselves "the daddy" at every opportunity, then prepare to be handed a lesson in the antediluvian era from director Darren Aronofsky. The US film-maker wants Ray Winstone to play the main villain opposite Russell Crowe in his forthcoming Noah epic, according to Deadline.

Aronofsky's proposed $130m (£79m) retelling of the biblical story is being billed as a fantasy epic. Noah, according to chapters 6-9 of the book of Genesis, is a 900-year-old man who loads two of every animal and a few members of his family onto a large boat after God tells him a great deluge is coming. Soon afterwards, the waters arrive and everyone who is not on the ark dies.

As well as Crowe in the lead role, Aronofksy's film boasts Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Emma Watson. Furthermore, Deadline suggests Jennifer Connelly may be in line to play Noah's wife in what would be a repeat of the casting for the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind. John Logan, who co-wrote Gladiator, was reported in February to have rescripted a draft screenplay originally penned by Aronofsky and Ari Handel. Deadline does not offer a name for the Winstone character, described as Noah's nemesis. Liam Neeson, Liev Schreiber and Val Kilmer had previously been linked to the role, but Aronofsky reportedly wanted an actor "with the grit and size to be convincing as he goes head-to-head against Crowe's Noah character".

The last notable film of the story of Noah to make it to cinemas came in 1928, though an animated film, Noah's Ark: the New Beginning, is scheduled for release sometime this year. Elements of the story were borrowed for 2007's Evan Almighty, the poorly received follow-up to 2003 Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty.

 

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