Darren Aronofsky’s follow-up to his sleeper success, Black Swan, has been talked about for since the summer of last year, and though it sounds like it’s been progressing nicely, it’s been missing one important thing: a cast.

It looks like that could all be changing. Christian Bale was first in talks for the titular role in Noah, but his involvement on Terrence Malick’s upcoming films meant that he wouldn’t be able to work it into his schedule. Michael Fassbender was then announced as being eyed for the lead, but it looks like his next project, Twelve Years A Slave, which will reunite him with Steve McQueen, will also rule him out because of scheduling.

Deadline are now reporting that Aronofsky is very much interested in Russell Crowe for the lead in his stead, and though nothing’s set in stone yet (biblical pun is not intended), things are looking good. And as if that wasn’t good enough, Liam Neeson is also wanted for another role.

We heard late last month that the project calls for a villain, someone who will try and instil doubt in Noah, and it could well be that Neeson would take that role. Though that report was based on a little (fairly sound) hearsay, Russell Crowe circling the lead would certainly seem to lend it some credence. We heard that the role of Noah would be most likely to go to someone in their forties, putting a further question mark over Fassbender’s head, at a young thirty-four, which in turn lends support for the possibility of Crowe taking it, age forty-seven.

The Academy Award-winning Crowe has played some of the best-known roles cinema has given us in recent years, very much deservedly taking the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. If he comes on board (again, pun not intended), Noah would re-unite him with his Gladiator scribe, John Logan, who’s been working on a re-write for the original script from Aronofsky and his producing partner, Ari Handel.

No word on a precise release date yet, but the last we heard from the film suggested it was aiming for a summer shoot this year, with an eye to be released in the autumn of 2013. Be sure to keep an eye on this one, because it sounds like it’s going to be immense. More as we get it.