While Christian Bale has long been mentioned as the lead in director Darren Aronofsky’s passion project Noah, it turns out the actor will be unable to star in the biblical epic. Bale has passed on the role due to scheduling issues with the two Terrence Malick pics he’s set to shoot back-to-back next year (yes, that Terrence Malick is making two more movies: Lawless and Knight of Cups). Variety now reports that Aronofsky is keen on casting Michael Fassbender in Bale’s wake. It’s an inspired choice, as Fassbender is a terrific actor who’s currently fielding a number of high-profile offers following a stellar year turning heads in X-Men: First Class and the drama Shame (for which he’s getting some much-deserved Oscar attention).
The Black Swan director has previously described Noah as his “big event film” and sees it more as a great fable than a religious story. I was already interested in the project given Aronofsky’s vision and Bale’s involvement, but the prospect of Fassbender taking over is almost more intriguing. Production is set to get underway next spring, and with Fassbender’s Londongrad put on hold until director Rupert Wyatt finishes a Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, the actor has some newfound availability. Here’s hoping he signs on.