Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in Noah

Noah represents a big change of pace for Darren Aronofsky in that it’s his first big-budget studio film. But those who worry that he’s sold his soul to Paramount Pictures needn’t worry. Following some early screenings, the word going around is Aronofsky is as bold and ambitious as ever — for better or for worse.

The closest comparison seems to be Aronfsky’s The Fountain. That may be good news for die-hard Aronofsky fans, many of whom consider that movie his best, but it could also be bad news for the studio, as The Fountain tanked horribly at the box office. Hit the jump to find out what people are saying about Noah.

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Noah

Considering that Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah centers on a flood of literally Biblical proportions, it seemed a bit ironic that our Noah set visit in October 2012 was delayed several hours by some routine autumn drizzle. But once we finally arrived on the Long Island set, it quickly became clear that the trip would be worth the wait.

Rising out of the nighttime fog was a massive cube-like structure — the famed ark. It was sitting in the middle of a field surrounded by trees, and though I wasn’t more than an hour’s drive from my own apartment, seeing it made me feel like I’d been transported to another time and place entirely. Aronofsky’s films have never been short on ambition, and Noah obviously wasn’t going to be an exception.

Over the course of that evening, we got to speak with Aronofsky and star Russell Crowe to learn just how this stunning passion project had come together over the course of many, many years. Hit the jump to find out what we learned.

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Jack Reynor in Transformers Age of Extinction

The list of confirmed Star Wars Episode VII actors still hovers around zero, but the list of rumored stars seems to grow longer every week. The latest subject of speculation and gossip is Jack Reynor, who’s probably best known for a role that hasn’t even hit theaters yet — he’s the star of upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction. More on this story after the jump.

Update: The Irish Independent prints a statement from Reynor’s reps saying “There is no truth in that — Jack is not taking on a role in the latest Star Wars film… He has not been approached about a role and there has been no discussion… The rumours started online, but there is no foundation to them.”

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Nicolas Cage in Left Behind

We’ll say this for Nic Cage: you can’t accuse him of having a predictable career. Just yesterday, we were eagerly looking forward to seeing the Oscar winner return to form with David Gordon Green’s Joe. Today, we’re back to questioning his taste in thrillers thanks to the first clip from Left Behind.

Based on Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins‘ bestselling religious series about the Rapture, the sci-fi thriller follows a group of survivors left to watch chaos unfold on Earth. The books were adapted for the screen once before, with Kirk Cameron in the lead role, but this new version, directed by Vic Armstrong (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) is intended to be a more “mainstream” version. Watch the scene after the jump.

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New ‘Noah’ Poster Is Heavy on the Elements

Noah Poster header Russell Crowe

We’re mere months away from seeing Noah, the latest film from Darren Aronofsky, and a new poster has been released to remind us that the flood is coming. It shows a frightening-looking Russell Crowe with a weapon and lots of rain, all but disregarding the film’s impressive supporting cast, and the story’s presumed religious elements. Even so, it’s a striking poster that’ll potentially get people interested despite its simplicity. Check it out below. Read More »

Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments

Bible-based projects are hotter than ever. This year alone, we’ll see Ridley Scott’s Exodus, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and the Jesus tale Son of God. But while most are taking the familiar form of an historical epic, WGN America is going a different way with their religiously inspired new miniseries.

Produced by The Weinstein Co., 10 Commandments will consist of ten episodes, each of which will focus on a different commandment. Different is the key word here. Each installment will be helmed by a different director, with Gus Van Sant, Lee Daniels, Jim Sheridan, Wes Craven, and Michael Cera among those attached right now. (Yes, that Michael Cera.) Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Kevin Smith CBM

Kevin Smith has talked about the possibility of impending retirement from feature film directing, but that isn’t how things are going down. Instead, Smith seems to be moving into his most fertile period yet. When Red State bowed in 2011 Smith said he would follow it with his final film, the hockey story Hit Somebody. That mutated into a (possible) television series, and Smith had Clerks III on his plate, before announcing the strange horror film Tusk. That was announced this past fall and shot in November, with a bit of work still to do in January.

Indeed, Smith seems to have new directorial vigor, at least when it comes to getting things written and shot. Clerks III remains on the horizon — Smith says a May 2014 shoot window is open — but now there’s another project.

Helena Handbag will be written by Smith based on a a Smodcast story by he and longtime producer Scott Mosier. What’s the tale? In Smith’s own words, “mankind teaming up with Hell to save existence from extinction at the hands of a Rapturing giant Jesus.” Read More »

It's a Wonderful Life

Despite Paramount’s objections, the producer for It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story is confident his project will go forward. Sorry, haters. Also after the jump:

  • Channing Tatum could still return for G.I. Joe 3
  • … and Adrianne Palicki is definitely going to be back
  • Kellan Lutz had to get smaller for The Expendables 3
  • Paramount and MGM team up for Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  • NBC okays a sequel to The Bible (the show, not the book)
  • Jack O’Connell and Lena Headey get their own 300 posters

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