ROME — Darren Aronofsky, Russell Crowe and a delegation from the film “Noah” met with Pope Francis this morning during the general audience at the Vatican. The delegation included Paramount Pictures vice chairman Rob Moore.

The meeting was confirmed by a spokeswoman for Universal, which will release “Noah” on April 10 in Italy.

The creative team behind “Noah” had requested to meet Pope Francis privately, but that request was denied, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told newspaper La Stampa.

Papal general audiences are held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays in St. Peter’s Square. 

Variety had previously reported that Pope Francis had nixed a proposed meet and greet with the creative team behind “Noah” tentatively on the calendar for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the VIP section. The “Noah” team instead attended the pope’s regular general audience, which is open to the public. “They are in St. Peter’s now,” the Universal spokeswoman said in an email sent at 11:35 a.m.

Asked for more details of the encounter during the general audience, she said the Vatican had asked for these not to be disclosed. The general audience was attended by thousands of people. The pope greeted the crowd slowly cruising around the square in an open air jeep, often stopping to say a few words.

When reached by Variety last week, Aronofsky said the meeting had been proposed, but it wouldn’t happen if anybody reported or tweeted about it ahead of time.

“Ciao Roma, my love for your eternal light just grows deeper. Thank you holy father @Pontifex for the blessing,” Crowe tweeted after the Audience. Crowe also tweeted pictures of the Udienza.

“Noah,” scheduled for U.S. release on March 28, has been criticized by some religious groups for taking too many liberties with the story of Noah’s Ark.

(Pictured: Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe attends Pope Francis’ weekly audience at the Vatican.)