VATICAN CITY (AP) — Actor Russell Crowe and the makers of the big-budget film “Noah” have attended Pope Francis’ general audience but didn’t meet the pope.

Crowe had lobbied hard for an audience and papal thumbs up for his film and the ensuing publicity a Francis photo-op would bring. The film has been banned in much of the Muslim world because it depicts the prophet, while U.S. conservatives have complained it took liberties with the Biblical account of the flood.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Noah’s producers had requested a private audience and were turned down. In an email to The Associated Press, Lombardi said there was similarly no scheduled “meet and greet” after Wednesday’s general audience, when VIPs can often get a quick word with the pope.