Pope Francis cancelled a Wednesday morning meeting with “Noah” star Russell Crowe, fearing the event would be leaked to the press.
According to the Daily Mail, the pontiff was scheduled to give his blessing for the film to Crowe and the movie’s creative team.
Director Darren Aronofsky had told Variety magazine last week that the meeting with the pope had been proposed, but warned that it would not go forward if details reach the press ahead of time.
Noah, a CGI-packed bonanza of a blockbuster with an estimated budget of $150 million, stars Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins in addition to Crowe.
The film has left some evangelical Christians miffed due to its fantasy-like style. Censors in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have banned it, and a group is lobbying in Egypt to do the same.
The Paramount Pictures website said the film would be released on March 26 in Egypt, and a day later in other Middle Eastern countries.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.