Russell Crowe in Darren Aronofsky's Noah.

Interest in Darren Aronofsky's Noah, the follow-up to his Oscar-winning Black Swan, has mounted even as the film is yet to be completed. While the biblical epic is not expected to hit theaters until March of next year, the filmmaker gave a sneak look at the Paramount film, targeting a crowd that it hopes to win over next year.

Footage from the film screened Thursday to an audience of Texas' church-based Echo Conference, according to THR. Tweets from the event showed approval for the glimpse, with one person saying: “Just saw the trailer of Arononfsky's Noah. It looks like it's gonna be off the chain.'”

“I'm also excited that Hollywood has finally agreed to make the first biblical epic in 50 years,” said Aronofsky in a video introduction before screening the footage. “It's been a long time since Bible movies were on the screen, and there's been a lot of advancements in technology and special effects, and maybe that's the reason why Noah's never been attempted on the big screen before, because of the size and scale of the deluge and all the different animals. … But now, finally, with Hollywood's help, we can actually do this and bring it to life.” Aronofsky added that he is staying as close as possible to the words of the Bible.

“I don’t think it’s a very religious story,” he told at the Provincetown International Film Festival last summer. “I think it’s a great fable that’s part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think it’s a great story that’s never been on film…I want to make a big event film, and I think it can be that.”

Aronofsky explained that a poetry competition he won as an adolescent about the biblical figure, Noah, which allowed him to read the entry at the United Nations, inspired him to pursue a writing and filmmaking career.

Noah stars Russell Crowe as the title character, who builds an arc at God's direction before a great flood covered the Earth, along with Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Ray Winstone, according to The Guardian. The film's backers are likely hoping to tap into similar enthusiasm from Christian audiences that greeted Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which took in nearly $612 million at the box office worldwide in 2004.

Darren Aronofsky took part in a three-film series at Film Society in early 2011, “Dreams and Nightmares,” featuring the New York-reared filmmaker's early titles, Pi, Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain.