In a surprise to no one, Columbia Pictures has announced they’re moving forward on a film adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Shutter Island, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) will write the script. The third book in the Da Vinci Code franchise was released last September and sold more than a million copies on its first day of release. Like the previous two books in the franchise, The Lost Symbol finds Robert Langdon having to solve a problem in very little time. This time it’s in Washington, D.C. and it involves the Freemasons.
While reviews have not been kind on either The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, the two films have grossed over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office (Da Vinci Code $758 million, Angels and Demons $486 million), so it makes a lot of business sense to make the movie. According to Variety, Tom Hanks has not yet signed on to reprise the role, but I’d imagine if the script is good and the paycheck is large, we’ll see him as Robert Langdon next year. Also, no word if Ron Howard will direct again.
One of the rules in the mystery thriller genre is that if you want to find your suspect for the killings, it’s probably not the obvious answer. One should be suspicious of the nice, the genteel, the physical unthreatening, and often the sexual repressed/fey types. If the idea is surprising your audience, the person in the first act cutting the brushes will probably not be the killer, unless he never shows up again, and the camera lingers (the Hunt for Red October rule). As mystery/thrillers go, Angels & Demons is perfectly competent, but never much more, and the person most likely to be the ringleader is evident if the rules above are paid attention to. My review of the Angels and Demons Blu-ray after the jump.
With only hours to go before Hollywood’s golden season draws to a close, I thought it was a good time to do the post-mortem on the summer of 2009. By now you may have heard that this summer was Hollywood’s most-profitable ever with grosses topping $4.3 billion. But has it felt like the biggest summer ever? Not really. Blockbusters like “Transformers 2″ and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” aside, 2009 was a season of expensive movies that didn’t live up to the hype and cheap movies that performed above all expectations. Follow me now into the murky world of box office number crunching to see just how huge Hollywood’s hugest summer really was.