Russell Crowe's upcoming film Noah, based on the biblical story of the prophet who built an ark to protect his family from an apocalyptic flood, is causing controversy worldwide.

The Paramount produced film is already banned in several Islamic countries, including Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait are expected to follow suit.

The Egyptian Sunni Muslim Institute released a statement on Thursday saying "it prohibits the screening" of movies that portray biblical figures.

"Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Mohammed]," read the statement. "Therefore, Al-Azhar announces the prohibition of the upcoming film about the Allah's messenger Noah -- peace be upon him."

Christians are also criticizing the film. President Ken Ham, of Answers In Genesis, said the film's script was unfaithful to the bible.

"Noah's family only consists of his wife, three sons, and one daughter-in-law, contrary to the Bible," Ham wrote in his blog. He also critiqued the fact that "every species was crammed in the Ark instead of just the kinds of animals, thus mocking the Ark account the same way secularists do today."

Christian screenwriter Brian Godawa was annoyed by the movie's attempts to repaint the biblical tale as an environmental parable.

"Noah is a kind of rural shaman and vegan hippie-like gatherer of herbs," Godawa writes. "Noah maintains an animal hospital to take care of wounded creatures or those who survive the evil 'poachers,' of the land. Just whose animal rights laws they are violating, I am not sure, since there are only fiefdoms of warlords and tribes. Be that as it may, Noah is the Mother Teresa of animals."

As a result of the controversy, Paramount released a disclaimer:

"The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe this story is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The Biblical story of Noah can be found in the Book of Genesis."

Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky, will hit theaters on March 28.