The adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is becoming a surprisingly interesting project. After Ron Howard opted out of directing a third film focusing on symbologist Robert Langdon, immensely talented director Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) became the frontrunner to take the helm. Now Danny Strong, who penned HBO’s Recount and the upcoming 2008 election-centered HBO film Game Change, has been tapped to write The Lost Symbol. Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) took the first stab at the script after which Brown himself did a pass, but now it looks like Sony is handing the project off to Strong. Hit the jump for more on the follow up to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.
I didn’t much care for Da Vinci or Angels & Demons, but the films’ grosses ($758 million and $485 million worldwide, respectively) imply that I’m in the minority. If anyone can elevate Brown’s source material to an engaging and smart feature, it’s Romanek. He’s come close to directing a major feature twice now, as he passed on The Wolverine and dropped out of The Wolfman over creative differences just before production was set to begin. I really, really liked Never Let Me Go, and I’m eager to see what Romanek will do with a larger, studio film.
Tom Hanks hasn’t yet signed on, but Deadline’s report on Strong’s involvement mentions that he’s expected to reprise the role of Langdon. Given the series’ worldwide appeal, he’s sure to reap a major financial benefit from a third outing. Though Howard isn’t directing The Lost Symbol, he’s still set to stay on in a producing capacity alongside Imagine partner Brian Grazer. It’s not clear why the previous scripts for the film weren’t up to snuff for Sony, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Romanek had a hand in choosing Strong to pen the rewrite. The scribe’s filmography is excellent thus far, and I’m excited to see how he tackles Brown’s lackluster source material.
Here’s the synopsis for The Lost Symbol:
In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling that finds famed symbologist Robert Langdon in a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn. This is Dan Brown’s most exciting novel yet.