Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” is adding to its ark. Aussie Russell Crowe will play the titular Biblical character, while Brit Ray Winstone (“Sexy Beast,” “The Departed,” “Hugo”) has been offered the villain role. Emma Watson is in talks to join as Ila, a girl rescued by Noah, a role Dakota Fanning had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts. Jennifer Connolly and Julianne Moore’s names have both been thrown in the mix to play Noah’s wife, Naameth. “Noah” starts filming in August.
Connolly starred with Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind” and could use a high profile project — her latest efforts include the disappointing “Virginia,” “Salvation Boulevard,” and “The Dilemma.” Moore is currently playing the mother in Kimberly Peirce’s “Carrie.” Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth will also star. [Deadline, Variety]
Following her roles in Pedro Almodovar’s “All About My Mother,” “Volver,” “Broken Embraces”) Penelope Cruz will join the Spanish auteur again this summer for Standby Lovers.” The film will also star Almodovar regulars Lola Duenas, Cecilia Roth, Paz Vega and Javier Camara. As the title suggests, the plot involves airplanes and affairs.
Cruz will then join the fantastic cast of Ridley Scott “The Counselor,” which also includes Michael Fassbender as the titular attorney, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and (Cruz’s husband) Javier Bardem. Cormac McCarthy wrote the script. [Playlist]