Noah and the Lambs: Aronofsky and Hopkins start filming

Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic has signed up a new star.

Sir Anthony Hopkins will play Methusaleh in the Black Swan director's live-action adaptation of the Genesis story Noah and the Ark.

The filmmaker said he was delighted with the casting and wrote on Twitter that it was an honour to work with the Silence of the Lambs legend. He also posted a photograph of the set, noting: "I dreamt about this since I was 13. And now it's a reality. Genesis 6:14."

The biblical passage he was referring to reads: "So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out" – perhaps a reference to the fact that the director has eschewed CGI technology over a physical set.

The film, which is not set to be released for another two years, will also feature stars including Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly, with Russell Crowe as Noah.

Sir Anthony has not confirmed whether any lambs will be taken on board Noah's Ark, silent or otherwise.

Last updated: 3:40pm, July 13 2012