Ray Winstone cast as Biblical ark builder’s mysterious nemesis

You remember the story of Noah’s Ark, right? God, angry at all the explicitly sexy shenanigans and wanton violence occurring on the face of our planet decides to wipe out the vast majority of humankind with a massive flood, but not before warning Noah, one of the few good people left, that he really ought to build a boat to save his family and all the useful animals he’ll need to repopulate the planet after the briny apocalpyse. Even those of you who didn’t attend Sunday school should know this story, as it’s pretty central to almost all cultures and traditions in one form or another.

Thus it should come as no surprise that Hollywood would eventually get around to making a movie about it, but since they handed the directorial reins to the guy responsible for Black Swan and Requiem For A Dream, it should also be no surprise that Darren Aronofsky has decided to add a few new plot twists that never appeared in your childhood copy of the King James Bible.

For instance, in Aranofsky’s upcoming Noah, Ray Winstone plays the key antagonist. Up until now you probably assumed that the critical dramatic arc would merely involve Russell Crowe’s Noah rushing to construct his massive boat and gathering up a varied selection of wildlife from around the world before his culture’s preeminent deity drowns everything in torrential flooding, but no. Apparently Aronofsky felt that tale needed a gigantic, menacing British fellow, which is what Winstone does best.

So far it’s unknown what role Winstone (who is most famous for his titular role in 2007’s CGI-animated Beowulf) will actually assume, or even his character’s name, but based on the symbolism present in Aranofsky’s earlier works, we’d assume that Winstone will embody the sinful nature of Earth’s inhabitants, as something of a counterpoint to the beatific Noah. Or maybe he’ll just be a huge dude who tries to eat all the animals as they’re paraded onto the ark. Honestly, it’s way too soon to tell which direction this flick will go. Noah hits theaters in early 2014, so presumably we’ll know more by then.

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