“Noah” is not feeling the love from the Vatican after Pope Francis reportedly nixed a tentative meet-and-greet with the creative team behind the Biblical epic starring Russell Crowe.
According to Variety, which first reported the news, Paramount Studios had been scrambling to schedule a meeting with the Pontiff as a photo-op before the release of the film on March 28.
The meeting was tentatively scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday with Crowe being joined by director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount vice chair Rob Moore.
Crowe, 49, had reached out to the Vatican last month via Twitter, offering him a preview of the film with the hope he’d give “Noah” his blessing.
“Dear Holy Father… the message of the film is powerful, fascinating, resonant,” the Australian actor wrote.
The Vatican reportedly cancelled the meeting over concerns that it would be leaked to the press and fans would cause a spectacle, particularly after Crowe and Aronofsky touched down in Rome, Variety reported.
“[The Vatican] was concerned that because Russell is such a big celebrity, a meeting could become a huge spectacle,” NY Post’s Page Six reported.
Variety reached out to Aronofsky last week, who said the meeting had been proposed but that it wouldn’t happen if it was leaked or reported ahead of time.
Page Six reported Studio Paramount denied that a meeting was ever scheduled.
While the Pontiff does not normally screen films, he met with Philomena Lee, the subject of the Oscar-nominated film “Philomena.”
“Noah,” which also features Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins, raised criticism by some religious groups for taking too many liberties with the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark.