1. ITV Report

Russell Crowe turned down for meeting with the Pope over Noah movie

Russell Crowe speaks to a priest outside of the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Str

Hollywood star Russell Crowe has been refused a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Crowe had hoped to see the pontiff to convince him to watch his film on the biblical character Noah to get some positive publicity. The film, set to be released at the end of the month, has been banned in many Muslim countries and it has also angered conservatives in America.

His requests started in February, when he sent a series of tweets to the Pope suggesting he should watch it:

He has been promoting the film, which reportedly cost $125m to make, in Italy with director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount Pictures executives.

On Wednesday, Crowe attended the Pope's weekly general audience in St Peter's Square - but was too far back to reach him.

In an email to The Associated Press, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said there was no scheduled “meet and greet.”

“They could have been at the audience like anyone else,” Fr Lombardi said.

Paramount Pictures told the same news agency that the delegation merely "went to hear" the pontiff.

As he left Rome, Crowe tweeted: