Russell Crowe has shrugged off controversy over his new film Noah, insisting he fully expected Muslim nations to ban the biblical epic.
Crowe plays the ark-building patriarch in Darren Aronofsky’s big screen adaptation of the Great Flood.
The film hit headlines earlier this month when it was banned from cinemas in some Muslim countries.
However, Crowe is adamant the snub is not a major setback for the film.
“This story is contained in every religious text. Noah is in the Koran. People from all over the world outside of religion have flood mythology,” Sydneysider Crowe told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“To be frank, given that it is a tenet of the Muslim religion that you can’t make stories or render images about the Prophet, it was not unexpected that some Islamic nations would ban the film.”
Paramount Pictures earlier this month confirmed that Noah won’t be released in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and expected bans in other Muslim countries.
Crowe says the countries are missing out on “stimulation and discussion” in a religious context.
“It’s the primary issue of this film, whether you have faith or you don’t have faith, you talk about it,” Crowe said.
Noah will be released in Australian cinemas on March 27.