Los Angeles - Christian Bale has passed on the lead role in Darren Aronofsky's Noah.
The Dark Knight Rises actor was set to take on the titular character in the forthcoming Biblical epic - about a man who is told by God to build an ark and save all the world's animals from a huge flood - but due to his busy schedule, with films Lawless and Knight of Cups coming up, he has decided he can no longer commit.
Now, in-demand actor Michael Fassbender is said to be in contention for the part after a meeting with Black Swan director Darren.
However, he too has a busy schedule - although he only officially has Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave on his radar, he will also reprise the role of Magneto in an X-Men: First Class sequel, and no offer has yet been confirmed.
Noah - which would be Darren's first significant project since Black Swan - is set to go into production in spring 2012 following a script edit by John Logan, who most recently worked on Martin Scorsese's 3D family movie Hugo.
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