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Back-To-Back Terrence Malick Movies Means No ‘Noah’ For Christian Bale, Will Michael Fassbender Take Over?

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by Kevin Jagernauth
November 30, 2011 5:18 PM
13 Comments
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Well, this was probably inevitable. With Christian Bale taking on two Terrence Malick movies in 2012, "Lawless" and "Knight of Cups" which are shooting back-to-back, it made the prospect of him appearing in Darren Aronofsky's dream project "Noah" all the more unlikely. Well, now it's official as Variety confirms his exit, but reveals another intriguing name as possibility to take over.

According to the trade, the rising Michael Fassbender has discussed the movie with Darren Aronofsky and while no formal offer has been made, he's currently available for the movie which shoots next spring. But before everyone gets all hot and bothered there is something to consider: $130 million. That's the pricetag of the movie Paramount and New Regency are tag teaming on, and as much as we love Fassbender, we sincerely doubt that he's going to get this movie greenlit. While the combination of Aronofsky and Bale/Bruce Wayne was a no-brainer for that budget, Fassbender is barely a household name at this point and still mostly celebrated among film nerds than the general public that the studio will definitely want to buy tickets to this movie.

Of course, this isn't the first time Aronofsky has lost a major star. Brad Pitt famously bailed on "The Fountain" weeks before it was start shooting, but he scaled back the budget, snagged Hugh Jackman and got the movie made. So yes, it's conceivable that Fassbender could take the role, but we'd guess the studio might push for a bigger name or reduced budget if that's the case. But Aronofksy plus Fassbender? Hell yeah.

For now, Fassbender's only 2012 project filling up his calendar is Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years A Slave" co-starring Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor. But as the awards season continues to heat up, if Fassbender gets some major nods and nominations, you can see the studio getting more and more keen for him to take on "Noah."

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13 Comments

  • kitcon | November 30, 2011 11:01 PMReply

    12 years a slave is also targeting a spring start and Fassbender's role looks to be bigger than Pitt's so he may not be free right away. Bale w/o a cape isn't that much bigger as a box office star -- Terminator Salvation made less than 2X cost. The studio probably agreed w/ the choice of Fassbender as a replacement before he was approached.

  • Nolan | November 30, 2011 7:25 PMReply

    Recently watched "Hunger" and "Fish Tank" and I officially really like Fassbender. He's been good in everything I've seen him in, and he practically carried First Class. I'm not Bale's biggest fan, so hopefully this can get done. By the time Noah is ready to be released, Fassbender could very easily be a household name.

    Also, Aronofsky probably has more clout this time around. A big, original sci-fi epic from the guy behind "pi" and "requiem for a dream" sounds a lot harder for a mass market to digest than big, biblical epic from the guy behind "the wrestler" and "black swan."

  • Sara | November 30, 2011 7:06 PMReply

    Michael Fassbender is the hottest guy at the moment. seriously,.. well I like Bale, but i think Fassbender is more ... let say approachable. Fassbender is really charismatic and honestly, i think will work better at the box office than Bale. I know Bale is Batman, and he is already famous. But Fassbender is like a meteor.

  • Mike | November 30, 2011 7:02 PMReply

    Sheesh, these two can never manage to work together, huh? First Batman Year One, then the Fighter, and now this. I'm not surprised given the Malick projects, but I am disappointed. Not that I don't appreciate Fassbender's work, but I think Bale would have been a much stronger choice.

  • gonad | November 30, 2011 6:42 PMReply

    Bale is a rotten actor! The way he uses American accents during press junket interviews is so silly.

  • gonad | December 1, 2011 4:41 AM

    I was making two different points, cheesedick. Unfortunately you can't make gaps between lines on this format.

  • Mark | November 30, 2011 7:42 PM

    He's a rotten actor because the accents he use in press junkets is silly? What kind of logic is that?

  • carrie | November 30, 2011 6:53 PM

    actually his accent is a mix of every thing in continuous development LOL

    what accent can have Aronofsky's Noah?

  • buntyhoven | November 30, 2011 6:42 PMReply

    Also, as much as I love Bale, didn't he seem something of an obvious choice for this? You get the impression he could do it in his sleep, which is why it might be a blessing in disguise that he had to drop out. We'll get to see Fassbender truly lead a giant tentpole, and meanwhile Bale gets to do two Malick films in a row.

  • David | November 30, 2011 6:30 PMReply

    It's probably for the best for everyone involved. You don't turn down Malick. You turn others down for him.

  • Simone | November 30, 2011 6:19 PMReply

    Michael could lead this project on a $130 million budget... he's been in X-men as Magneto for cripes sake! He's been in '300' and 'Inglourious Basterds'. The boy is ready for the big leagues, and if he gains big awards for Shame, and 'Prometheus' opens good, the man is as good as gold. Just give it to him.

  • buntyhoven | November 30, 2011 6:14 PMReply

    I'm not so sure Fassbender's such a risk on this one. They can sell it some sort of 300/Immortals-esque film from the director of Black Swan. A lot of those types of films have unknowns in the lead. Russell Crowe was not a major star when he was cast in Gladiator. Ditto Gerard Butler in 300. And Fassbender has some recognition as Magneto.

  • CL | November 30, 2011 5:52 PMReply

    Disney okayed the 250 million $ John Carter of Mars with the relatively unknown Taylor Kitsch (who's got less acting cred than Fassbender, and who's headlining the upcoming Battleship stinker) but the Fass would have trouble getting this tentpole greenlit for 130 million $ on his name basis? Understandable, given his anonymity with the mainstream audience, but frustrating still.

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