Morning Must-Read: Russell Crowe as 'Noah,' Seven 'Hotel Transylvania' Posters and Steve Carell's Next Project with Will Ferrell

Two By Two: If you follow director Darren Aronofsky on Twitter, you know that he’s hard at work on Noah, his interpretation of the legendary Biblical story of a man (Russell Crowe) and his Ark. Though Aronofsky has been taking full advantage of social media, posting on-set photos almost daily, the first "official" image of Crowe in character comes to us courtesy of USA Today. We have it for you above.
 
Aronofsky’s Noah is aiming for a March 28, 2014 release date. To learn even more about the epic drama, check out Movies.com's in-depth breakdown of the possible plot. Did somebody say "giant monsters?"
 
Funny Pairings: You don’t have to wait until 2014 to see Hope Springs. It’s in theaters as we speak. The mature dramedy stars Steve Carell as a therapist helping older married couple Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones rekindle the passion in their marriage. HitFix reports that the David Frankel film opened to a modest $2.2 million on Wednesday evening. We’ll see how it fares over the weekend. 
 
 
Speaking of Carell, the Office funnyman has signed on to another comedy with his Anchorman co-star Will Ferrell. Deadline reports that the two will collaborate on Swear to God, a two-hander about a hedge fund operator (Ferrell) who believes he has seen God. The big news, though, is that Tropic Thunder writer Justin Theroux has signed on to both write and direct Swear. They’ll begin next July, presumably after Ferrell and Carell have wrapped Anchorman 2.
 
News and Notes: Carell and Ferrell aren’t the only actors returning to popular franchises.
 
THR notes that Yancy Butler will be back for Kick-Ass 2, once again playing the mother of super villain Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). The sequel begins filming next month in Toronto. 
 
And Vulture says the oft-rumored Bill & Ted 3 is moving forward with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter back in the title roles. The site says Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot is on board to helm, but we'll wait to see what gets confirmed.  
 
Yesterday we reported that Dead Man Walking helmer Tim Robbins would be returning to the director’s chair. Ironically, his Walking star, Sean Penn, also is circling a directorial project. THR says Penn might direct Crazy for the Storm, an adaptation of Norman Ollestad’s survival memoir that documents an 11-year-old’s fight to survive blizzard conditions following a devastating plane crash. Storm would mark Penn’s first directing gig since 2007’s Into the Wild. The actor next will be seen in Warner’s Gangster Squad, which has been moved back to Jan. 11, 2013.
 
We’ve been tracking the progress of MGM’s The Magnificent Seven with great interest. For starters, we love the Kurosawa classic, Seven Samurai, which inspired the equally excellent 1960s version with Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner. The new version has Tom Cruise attached to star, with Matt Damon rumored to be circling a part. An update could populate its cast with all stars, but first, MGM needs a script, and Variety says for that, the studio has hired newcomer Nic Pizzolatto.  
 
No Vacancy: Finally, Sony unveiled seven new character posters for its upcoming Hotel Transylvania. What do you think? 
 
 
 
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
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