Australian actor 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 much of the Muslim world.
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 Quran. People from all over the world outside of religion have flood mythology," 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."
Noah will not be released in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and Crowe concedes 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.