If you ever go to an airport, it becomes clear pretty quickly how much people love Dan Brown novels. Or at least, how much people love Dan Brown novels when they have to sit around in public for hours and there’s a convenient little newsstand across the way. So, even though he’s one of the biggest names in the business, it was a coup when Ron Howard got to direct the film adaptations of Brown’s Robert Langdon books. That first movie alone, The Da Vinci Code, has made $750 million worldwide. That’s a lot of cheese. But now that it’s time to start adapting the third book in the series, The Lost Symbol, it seems that Howard wants out.

Why would someone want off of a proven cash cow like a Dan Brown adaptation? Deadline Duncan is reporting that Howard informed Sony producers that he didn’t want to keep doing the same kinds of stories with the same characters anymore, and that for The Lost Symbol, he wished to step back from the director’s chair and only produce. For someone who just spent a lot of time trying to get a Stephen King series adapted into three films and a television series, but ultimately got turned down by Universal, that kind of sounds like sour grapes. Is Howard upset at the studio system and punishing them by sabotaging a proven earner?

No, I wouldn’t say so. This is Opie we’re talking about. He isn’t vengeful like that. And also, I don’t know anybody who wanted to see him continue to direct these stinkers anyways. Maybe he’s realized that his vision just isn’t the best fit for the material and he wants to see what somebody else could do if handed the reins. I know a lot of Dan Brown fans that feel the same way. Plus, it’s not like Howard is lacking for work. Now that The Dark Tower and The Lost Symbol are both off of his plate, it’s likely he will move on to one of his many other proposed projects like Rush or Spy vs. Spy. And maybe we can get rumors of Robert Zemeckis taking on The Lost Symbol now, he likes to work with Tom Hanks and he seems to get rumored for everything these days.

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