Russell Crowe will play the titular Old Testament figure in director Darren Aronofsky's movie "Noah," Deadline reported.

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Production on the epic about the man who heeds God's warning and builds an ark to save as many creatures as possible when a disastrous flood comes is expected to start in July, the entertainment industry news Web site said.

Crowe is best known for his work in the films "Cinderella Man," "A Beautiful Mind" and "Gladiator."

Aronofsky's big-screen credits include "Black Swan,""The Wrestler" and "The Fountain."