Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' suspense thriller "Angels & Demons."

Dan Brown writes books faster than Ron Howard can make movies. The filmmaker was at one point planning — alongside a hundred other projects — to make The Lost Symbol as a third installment of the Robert Langdon Da Vinci Code series with Tom Hanks back in the lead role, but according to Deadline Hollywood, Sony is skipping over that entry in order to make an adaptation of “Inferno.”

The latest novel in Brown’s series hit just two months ago, but more than simply being current, Howard had dropped out of making The Lost Symbol, wanting to produce it instead of directing, but something has enticed him to return to the helm here. The development mess that Symbol had become might be a big part of that — a desire to be back in this narrative world on his own terms.

Whereas the previous project would have seen Langdon running around D.C. on a highly personal quest, Inferno will follow him in Italy (again) as he solves hidden meanings in paintings (again) and wrestles with Dante (if you couldn’t guess by the title) on the edge of a global pandemic. The script is being written by David Koepp, who adapted the repetitive string of events that was “Angels and Demons,” so he’s not new to the Langdon universe. Thus, the powers behind a relatively harmless, forgettable mystery series are back to make another.


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