Russell Crowe, 'Noah' Producers Won't Be Meeting Pope Francis

Image: Russell Crowe, 'Noah' Producers Won't Be Meeting Pope Francis

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 08:31 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Pope Francis won't be meeting with movie star Russell Crowe and the creative team behind his controversial new Biblical epic "Noah" for a photo-op that would have put the pontiff's figurative blessing on the movie.

Studio executives had set up a tentative meeting for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday so the pope could meet with Crowe, movie director Darren Aronofsky, and Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore, Variety reports.

However, the Vatican canceled the meeting, a source said, claiming word would leak out and cause a spectacle as Crowe and Aronofsky landed in Rome. Aronofsky told Variety last week that the meeting had been proposed, but wouldn't happen if it was reported on or announced on Twitter.

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man

But while Variety reported the Vatican canceled the meeting, a Paramount spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that a meeting was never actually really scheduled.

The spokesman said in recent weeks, Crowe did tweet Pope Francis to ask if the Holy See could screen his new movie, which will premiere in Italy on Tuesday.



That same day, Crowe tweeted:



The star not only wanted to meet personally with Pope Francis, but to attend Wednesday's papal general audience in St. Peter's Square.

But Paramount said the Vatican told it that Crowe's appearance at the papal general audience would disrupt the weekly event because he is so well known, so the studio dropped its plans.

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man

"Noah," is scheduled for U.S. release on March 28, Variety reports, and is coming out amid heavy scrutiny by religious groups claiming it takes too many liberties with the  biblical depiction of the Noah's Ark story.

As a result, Paramount has changed its marketing materials to say the movie is "inspired" by the Old Testament story, rather than literally adapting it.

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