When Noah was first announced, I theorised/hoped/prayed (delete to suit your philosophy) about what Aronofsky would bring to this well-known story.
My original article said the following:
"If you dig a little deeper the story becomes even more fascinating; in the Hebrew telling of the tale (specifically chronicled in the Book of Enoch) involves cross-breeding between human women and fallen angels. This unnatural pairing produced a race of giants called the Nephilim (although there are other terms to describe the breed), which is the origin of Goliath. The Nephilim are one of the major catalysts for God's genocidal flood; Noah's bloodline is allowed to survive because it is considered genetically pure. Both the Book of Genesis and the Qur'an mention these giants, even going so far as to say one giant, named Og, survived the great flood thanks to Noah's Ark (although, typical of religious texts, there are conflicting interpretations of just how this transpired)."
Drew McWeeny at Hitfix has actually read the script and confirmed a few things. Namely giants will be in the story, in some form or another.
"[The] Watchers, eleven-foot-tall fallen angels with six arms and no wings. They have a major presence in the script, and they're fascinating. Early on, when Noah needs to go see his grandfather, he has to move through the homeland of the Watchers, something that is not easy to do."
This is exciting. The Watchers are the form of angel that fathered the Nephilim, so this assures me that Aronofsky is going to dig deep into the text. Gone are the fears of the stuffy, surface-level Bible movies of old. It's Aronofsky, it was foolish to expect such things. In its place is the wild and weird world hidden within the Bible pages.
The next bit of delightful weirdness comes in the form of Noah's aforementioned grandfather, Methuselah, who will now be played by Anthony Hopkins.
Methuse' (to his friends) is a 900 year old man who has lived on this the Earth since the days of Adam and Eve, McWeeny claims he only has a small role in the film, three scenes total, but they are powerful and vital to the story. Casting an actor of Hopkins' magnitude is a fine way to make that point.
The cast is coming together wonderfully and I am overjoyed that a studio is taking a big chance on a visionary like Aronofsky. The Fountain was to be his first big studio picture, but casting and budget issues forced the director to get creative and scale back the production; the result was a movie that looked and felt more epic than many mega-budget tent poles. Imagine what a man of those talents can do with a real budget? It could be nothing short of a miracle.
UPDATE: Movies.Com has unearthed some artwork from the Noah graphic novel that Aronofsky developed (partly as a sales pitch to Paramount, partly as a back-up plan should funding fall through; similar to what he did with The Fountain).
Through the link you will find a translated description of the book, which paints it as far less Biblical and more post-apocalyptic (although the state of the world at the time probably was pretty close to post-apocalyptic). As some details may be considered a spoiler, I will leave it up to you to read it.
The artwork depicts the scary, hostile environment of Noah's world and gives us a vague idea of what the dreaded Watchers will look like:
Note: If anyone knows of the name of the artist for the artwork used at the top of the article, I will add a credit below.