The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol is the third book in a series of them written by Dan Brown. Already the first two books in the series, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been made into big time film adaptations starring Tom Hanks, and the longtime plan has been for this third book to become a movie as well. But recent events have show that it’s going to be made by a different creative team than the people who were behind the first two.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a thing that happens nightly, only on Film School Rejects. Well, unless you count the spam sites that scrape our content and post it as their own. We know you’re out there, and we’re going to get you. In the mean time, here’s some news for all you readers, no matter where you’re seeing it. We open tonight with the new image from Jeff, Who Lives At Home, another TIFF ’11 premiere. It’s the latest from the Duplass brothers, about a man who lives at home with his mother, until the day when the universe begins showing him signs about his future. It has Ed Helms, I’ll watch that.

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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?

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“The Lost Symbol” has the best chance of being a great movie out of its already-adapted group of novels for several reasons. The most obvious is that it’s got far more action than Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code combined. The result of that action is a drastic reduction in exposition – the second most obvious positive trait the book has going for it. Now, Sony wants the author himself to play script doctor for The Lost Symbol film. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s a wild card. Brown is a great writer in the way that Louis L’Amour is a great writer. He’ll never go down in history as being deeper than a casket full of water, but he entertains far better than most. Whether his florid writing can translate to the tight-as-a-drum medium of screenplays is anybody’s guess, but his inclusion in the script process means the film either just lost or intensified its potential to be a threequel that far outshines its two predecessors. [THR]

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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