Paramount and New Regency have formalized a deal to partner on the Darren Aronofsky epic "Noah", a $100 million-plus project telling the biblical story of Noah's Ark. Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan ("Gladiator", "Sweeney Todd") is set to rewrite a script by Aronofsky and Ari Handel. The studios are aiming for a Spring 2012 production start on the film.

The news was broken by Deadline.

”Since I was a kid, I have been moved and inspired by the story of Noah and his family’s journey,” said Aronofsky in a statement. “The imaginations of countless generations have sparked to this epic story of faith. It’s my hope that I can present a window into Noah’s passion and perseverance for the silver screen.”

Aronofsky's last directorial effort was "Black Swan", which became a surprise blockbuster with over $300 million in global receipts. The film's enormous success is obviously a big factor in the studios' rush to get "Noah" into production, and also perhaps their desire to tap into the Christian audience that turned "The Passion of the Christ" into one of the top-grossing films ever made (though whether they manage to reap similar rewards here will of course depend on how reverent they are with the original story).

I'll be interested to see what a $100 million Aronofsky movie looks like; his largest production budget previously was $35 million, for 2006's "The Fountain" starring Hugh Jackman.