×

Emma Watson called to ‘Noah’ role

Will play a young girl rescued by Noah

Emma Watson is in talks for the young female lead in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” and would play Ila, a young girl Noah rescues who later experiences a miracle.

The biblical epic is set to star Russell Crowe as the title character, while Jennifer Connelly has been rumored to play his faithful wife Naameth — though sources tell Variety that Julianne Moore is also in contention for that role, which Moore could shoot after she wraps MGM’s “Carrie” remake, provided her schedule doesn’t present the same problems that it did for Dakota Fanning.

Fanning had to bow out from the Ila role due to a contentious scheduling conflict with Naomi Foner’s indie “Very Good Girls.”

Fanning’s reps spent two weeks trying to work out the scheduling issues but they proved too daunting to overcome. While “Noah” doesn’t start filming until August, Fanning would’ve had to report for work on July 20 to rehearse with the rest of the cast and undergo wardrobe and makeup tests. “Very Good Girls” starts production around late June/early July, and Fanning wouldn’t have wrapped her role in time.

Complicating matters was “Very Good Girls” producer Norton Herrick, who dug in his heels and created a standoff that forced Fanning to walk away from what sources close to the actress describe as “potentially the greatest role of her career.”

When reached by Variety, Herrick denied any bad blood and said he looks forward to working with Fanning on “Very Good Girls,” which also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Peter Sarsgaard and Demi Moore. Previous reports from the blogosphere pegged Saoirse Ronan for the young female lead and Liam Neeson as the antagonist of the film, though those reports were inaccurate; Liev Schreiber has since emerged as a leading contender for that role.

Paramount and New Regency had no comment.

Watson, repped by WME and Markham, Froggatt and Irwin, has shined since graduating from the “Harry Potter” franchise: She co-starred alongside Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh in “My Week With Marilyn” and recently wrapped Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring.” She’s currently filming a small role as herself in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial debut “The End of the World” and next stars in Summit’s teen drama “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content