'Noah' trailer sets up massive biblical flood

"Noah"Paramount Pictures

Biblical stories are always an interesting bet on the big screen. Can a tale that's so well known to millions translate into an enjoyable movie that doesn't take too many liberties with the text?

The latest film to take on that challenge is "Noah," the story, of course, of the biblical prophet who builds an ark after God warns him of a devastating flood. Many moviegoers may already know the details — the ark has very specific measurements in cubits, the animals came two-by-two, the flood lasted 40 days, Noah sent forth a raven and a dove to test for dry land. But how closely will Hollywood stick to the story?

Interested viewers, whether biblical scholars or not, can glean some information from the "Noah" trailer, released Thursday. Russell Crowe stars as Noah, with Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Emma Watson as his daughter, and Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, Noah's grandfather (yes, the same one who's famous as the oldest man ever).

In the trailer, Noah's seen dreaming of the world's destruction, then telling his wife what the Lord wants him to do and beginning to build the ark. The animals are seen arriving (including more snakes than most of us would want to take as companions on a long sea journey) as great biblical-epic-appropriate music swells. Crowe delivers Noah's lines with the same gravitas he uses as Jor-El in "Man of Steel" — this is a serious take on the biblical tale, here, no "Life of Brian."

"Noah" sails into theaters March 28, 2014.