Mark Romanek the Frontrunner to Direct Adaptation of Dan Brown’s THE LOST SYMBOL

     October 19, 2011


I don’t know if this news should make me excited or sad.  Deadline reports that talented director Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) is the frontrunner to helm the adaptation of Dan Brown’s latest Robert Langdon novel The Lost Symbol.  Ron Howard directed the prior Langdon books The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.  Both movies took themselves far too seriously and also suffered from being based on awful books.  I haven’t picked up The Lost Symbol because I don’t really care what exposition machine and master of trivial history Robert Langdon has to spew for 528 pages.

Hit the jump for more on the film along with a synopsis.

the_lost_symbol_book_coverThe movie is a high priority for Sony and would be Romanek’s first blockbuster feature.  He passed on The Wolverine, and in 2008 he almost took on The Wolfman but dropped out shortly before production began because of a budget dispute with Universal.*  The Lost Symbol is almost a sure-fire hit and would likely give Romanek some clout for his follow-up project.  Additionally, his skills may be able to elevate the movie above Howard’s slavish and uninspired adaptations of the previous Robert Langdon novels.  Unfortunately, Brown is one of the screenwriters (the other is Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight), and I don’t know if any director could improve the material.

Hanks is likely to reprise his role as Langdon but no deals have been signed.  He’s currently at work on Paul Greengrass’ adaptation of the real-life Somali pirate drama A Captain’s Duty (aka Maersk Alabama).  He’ll next be seen in theaters in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Here’s the synopsis of Dan Brown’s 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.

*Universal reportedly ended up paying more to replace him and make up lost time than if they had just agreed to his budget increase in the first place.

  • Marc

    Dan Brown’s books are a quilty pleasure. And yes I do agree, they are AWFUL. All three of them. All three use the same essential formula, cover up narrative missteps with intriguing (and ultimately false or sensationalized) historical content, they continuously build up to what the reader feels has to be some kind of epic conclusion……then it shits its pants. The whole story goes nowhere.

    But….I can’t put them down. And as ashamed as I am to say this, whenever Dan Brown comes out with his next execrable abortion he calls a novel, I’ll be there at Barnes and Noble buying it. I can’t help myself! The stories are addictive, the pacing is fantastic. And I know….I just know….I’ll hate myself in the end for it.

    Reading Dan Brown is like eating Cool Ranch Doritios.

    • BPSwanky

      I love Cool Ranch Doritios. Damn me to Hell, I can’t stop myself.

  • BPSwanky

    Wow….this article starts right into the bashing, doesn’t it. First off, the books weren’t that bad. Sure, they fall into the same kind of traps as most mystery/adventure series, using a tried and true formula over and over again, but for the most part they were entertaining. Howard’s adaptations were passable, although they didn’t elevate the source material greatly. Once again, the films were interesting, and visually stimulating enough. I’m excited to see what Romanek can bring to the franchise. If the new trailers for Girl With The Dragon Tatoo have taught me anything, it’s that a great director can make a so-so story really pop when given the chance.

    BTW: How’s about not starting the articles off quite so negatively. It makes you sound bitter.

  • Rev. Slappy

    I would admit I find some of Matt’s snark a little too much, but damn if calling Dan Brown an “exposition machine” isn’t both hilarious and spot-on.

  • Bonobo

    Yes, can’t we just let Matt get away with this one, because surely we all agree that Dan Brown is a pretty gifted sudoku and crossword puzzle maker, who inexplicably uses that gift to write novels with the most hilariously awful characters and dialogue to ever sell a trillion copies?

  • David

    lol. Dan Brown awful?? Why? Just because his books sells in millions of copies? Whats next? Is there anyone you like Matt?

  • Phillip Gould

    Romanek’s great, but I’d rather he keep doing how he do and let a good popcorn director, like Joel Schumacher, take over. Schumacher’s underrated, his new flick Trespass was pretty slick.

  • Ryan

    I have a few things to say so bear with me please.

    First, Dan Brown isn’t that bad. His books Deception Point and Digital Fortress are quite entertaining. In Da Vince Code he drags himself down in REWRITING history. Now here’s what I mean. When you watch Indiana Jones or National Treasure they say things like “You know the bible story? It’s REAL!” or “During the Revolutionary War, they were ALSO trying to bury some treasure and sneak it over”.

    It’s more about the unwritten parts. With Brown, he was saying things like Constantine was never Christian, he was always pagan etc… and you get bogged down trying to keep track of it all. In Angels & Demons he went on a bent with a twist ending including the bastard child of the late pope and a nun, conceived in his days as a priest. Now I’m a lapsed Catholic, but even I wouldn’t write with his hatred.

    “Da Vinci Code” isn’t a bad book or film if you enjoy the treasure hunt aspects, or the mystery. You might leave unfulfilled though because the big reveal is more rewriting of history, legend, biblical writings, whatever you want to call it it.

    ‘Angels & Demons’ is a good movie IMO. It tones down the religious hatred and weird subplots, and features some good moments where the ‘men of faith’ challenge Langdon the ‘man of science’. For example in a line where a cardinal thanks God for Langdon’s help, Langdon says God had nothing to do with it, and the cardinal says something like ‘How do you know?’. I enjoyed the balance.

    As for “Lost Symbol”… Good Jesus God what a horrible book. I don’t even know what it was about. It started great, and there’s some great fast paced stuff and big reveals, but I skipped entire sections. Never even bought it! I sit and read it at Barnes for free. Took me two months lol. Also skipped lots of chapters I think. It could make a good movie, if focused the way Demons was.

  • John

    I’ve read Brown’s Langdon books and I’ve seen the movies. Angels & Demons was a good book a decent movie. I enjoyed the book for Da Vinci Code but I read it after I saw the movie which was weak. The thing is with Da Vinci Code is that it’s a hard book to adapt to a movie. Most of it is dialog or figuring out puzzles and set in many different locations. After I finished reading the book I can see exactly why it didn’t turn out well adapting to film. A&D made a better movie because it’s a race against the clock type of movie that takes place in one location.

    Now with The Lost Symbol….it was a bad book. It’s stretched out and has a weak plot. Even though it’s set in Washington DC, it doesn’t use the cities landmarks well and if it does, it’s very brief. The best part about the books is the Langdon character and Hanks is great in the role.

  • Mishell

    Hey check out an interesting interview with Director/Producer at:

  • Pingback: Danny Strong Set to Adapt Dan Brown’s THE LOST SYMBOL

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