Christian Bale passes on ‘Noah’; Fassbender in?

Aronofsky targets Michael Fassbender for Paramount, New Regency epic

Christian Bale has passed on Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” and the filmmaker is now targeting Michael Fassbender for the title role in Paramount and New Regency’s biblical epic.

While Fassbender has not yet received an official offer, sources tell Variety that he has discussed the part with Aronofsky. Fassbender finds himself available now that WB’s “Londongrad” has stalled following the departure of helmer Rupert Wyatt, whom Fassbender was keen to work with.

Aronofsky and Ari Handel wrote the original script, which was subsequently rewritten by “Gladiator” scribe John Logan. Aronofsky is producing with Scott Franklin (“Black Swan”).

Paramount is high on the faith-based project due to its global appeal, and production is expected to start in the spring.

Fassbender, repped by CAA and Troika, is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood thanks to his well-received turns in four films this year — “Jane Eyre,” “X-Men: First Class,” “A Dangerous Method” and “Shame,” the NC-17 drama for which he’s garnering awards attention. However, unlike most stars, the picky Fassbender doesn’t attach himself to many projects. He has supporting roles in Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” and Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” on the horizon, but the only other project he has committed to is “Twelve Years a Slave,” which will reunite Fassbender with his “Hunger” and “Shame” helmer Steve McQueen.

Bale just wrapped Christopher Nolan’s last Batman pic “The Dark Knight Rises” and is set to star in a pair of Terrence Malick films, “Lawless” and “Knight of Cups.”