Rumours arose that Shame star (and the most well-endowed Oscar snub in recent memory) Michael Fassbender would replace Bale, but scheduling conflicts once again interfered as Fassbender is set to re-team with Hunger/Shame director Steve McQueen on Twelve Years A Slave.
Based on the previous two ideas floated, it is clear Aronofsky wants (or even needs) a big name to sell his Biblical epic to audiences, and so the next major name to appears is none other than Maximus Decimus Meridius himself, Russell Crowe.
Deadline, who broke the story last night, have few details available and cannot actively confirm that this will lead to Crowe signing on the dotted line.
Meanwhile, Variety's Jeff Sneider dropped another bomb on his Twitter feed, stating that a rival project is none other than the remake of Robocop. Again, nothing is set in stone but it's an offer Crowe is considering as it will clash with the shooting schedule on Noah. This means Crowe will have to choose between the riskier prestige/awards-chasing venture or the more commercial release. It's been quite some time since Russell Crowe made a movie anyone would consider essential viewing, so I hope he chooses wisely and gets cracking on his carpentry skills.
Meanwhile, Deadline also hint that Liam Neeson is in discussion for another key role on Noah, I would imagine this is the antagonist role that has been hinted at, the vocal sceptic (no doubt standing in for all those ridiculous Global Warming Deniers). Personally, after his mesmerising work in The Grey (see it, that's an order), I would be equally happy to see Neeson take on the role of Noah instead of Crowe.