Ron Howard Won’t Direct THE DA VINCI CODE Sequel THE LOST SYMBOL

     July 26, 2011

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The Da Vinci Code made $758 million worldwide.  The sequel, Angels & Demons, earned a reduced (yet still very impressive) $485 million.  Naturally, Sony is going for the hat trick, and hired Steven Knight last year to adapt The Lost Symbol, the third book in the Robert Langdon series.  Last we checked, series author Dan Brown started work on a rewrite, though neither franchise star Tom Hanks nor director Ron Howard were confirmed to return.  Howard, at least, never will be — he may produce, but has decided not to direct The Lost Symbol.  Details after the jump.

A source tells Deadline:

“Ron told Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton that he was not going to be directing Dan Brown’s novels anymore. He just didn’t want to do that thing over and over, the same character and the same stories.”

the_lost_symbol_book_coverFair enough.  Laudable as a creative decision, though as Deadline points out, Howard could use a hit.  The Dan Brown films have propped up Howard’s resume lately — elsewhere, the last ten years are highlighted by relative flops like Cinderella Man and The Dilemma.  And it had to hurt when all the time and effort into setting up Dark Tower went to waste after Universal passed on the project.  Not to fret too much.  Howard is already casting his next project, Rush, not to mention Under the Banner of Heaven and Spy vs. Spy in the pipeline.  The multimillionaire, now in his fifth decade as a director, will be just fine.

So will The Lost Symbol, probably.  The report does not update on Hanks’ involvement, but Sony is on the lookout for a replacement director, so I imagine they have some hope of securing the star for another round.

Here’s the book synopsis:

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object —artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon—a prominent Mason and philanthropist —is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations—all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth. [Powell’s Books]

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