At least from the outside, it seems like it's been a tough 12 months for director Darren Aronofsky. Yes, "Black Swan" became an unlikely smash, winning Natalie Portman a Best Actress Oscar, but from November 2011 to the present, there have been a lot of false starts and bad news for the filmmaker. Starting with his very publicized breakup with Rachel Weisz, Aronofsky's been in the news mostly for unhappy things. First, he drops out of doing the Wolverine sequel. Then he announced his intentions to make a ridiculously ambitious (and pricey) R-rated retelling of the Noah story, which sounded amazing but also incredibly risky. Everything seemed like it might work out, though, after Christian Bale came aboard the project, guaranteeing that Aronofsky had a major star for the venture. Well, now Aronofsky doesn't have that major star anymore: Bale is out.
Deadline broke the news this afternoon that Bale can't do "Noah" because of his commitment to making two movies in a row with Terrence Malick. And while it seemed like Bale was definitely signed up for "Noah," Deadline reports that "Bale had never been set, but it was understood he was the actor Aronofsky wanted." Paramount's still planning on moving forward with "Noah" in the spring, but that's not that far off. So you should expect the "Who's gonna star in 'Noah'?" articles to start flying immediately. (Is Joel Edgerton available?)
As for Bale, we'd always liked the idea of him teaming up with Aronofsky. Perfectionists both, having them work together on something as mad as "Noah" seemed ideal. But Bale, now free of Batman movies, has his whole career ahead of him. And when it came down to it, he chose Malick over Aronofsky. No disrespect to Aronofsky, but we sorta understand: How do you say no to Malick? The question now is which actor is gonna say yes to "Noah."