Leonardo Da Vinci's Life
The Da Vinci Code Movie
Ron Howard helms the The Da Vinci Code movie, based on the best-selling book of the same name by author Dan Brown. Akiva Goldsman was responsible for the screenwriting. The film was shot in various locations around the world including London and Paris. Audiences get a glance at the interior of the famed Musée du Louvre in Paris where the main plot begins.
The suspenseful story revolves around the murder of the old curator of the Louvre museum, Jacques Saunière. The police call in symbologist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks, in order to help them solve a mysterious riddle left near the body. When Langdon deciphers the riddle, it reveals a trail of clues that Leonardo Da Vinci cleverly hid in his art work.
Hank’s character is joined by Sophie Neveu, a French cryptologist played by Audrey Tautou. She is the grand-daughter of Mr. Saunière. Together, they soon learn that the curator was involved in the rituals of a secret society, the Priory of Sion, whose members included Botticelli, Victor Hugo, Sir Isaac Newton, and Da Vinci himself. Both Langdon and Neveu become the targets of an enigmatic albino figure known as Silas who works on behalf of Opus Dei, a covert Catholic sect eager to guard the Priory of Sion’s mysterious doings! Will the 2000 year old secret ever be revealed?
The Da Vinci Code movie also stars Jean Reno as Bezu Fache, the French police chief. Columbia and Imagine Entertainment released the film on May 19, 2006. Columbia also acquired the rights to Angels and Demons, Brown’s first novel also featuring the character of Robert Langdon.
When the Da Vinci Code mystery novel hit the bookstores in 2003, there was an immediate explosive audience reaction. The same reaction is set to go off again in mammoth proportion with the release of the Da Vinci Code movie this summer. If you’re not one of the over 25 million people who have devoured this spell-binding book, you have but a short time left before it hits the movie theatres.
From the moment Dan Brown released his fast-paced novel of intrigue and suspense to the world, it developed a cult following. The Da Vinci Code story revolves around Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of symbology who becomes caught up in a mysterious murder. Interwoven in the plot are interesting religious and art history details. Undoubtedly, it’s a thriller of epic proportion. Since the book’s publication, it has become something of a global phenomenon, spawning fan clubs, documentaries and bus tours. The book’s popularity soon enticed movie producers. Casting for the much anticipated film was a difficult task.
According to the movie’s producer Brian Grazer and the movie’s director Ron Howard, casting the role of Robert Langdon depended on one person’s approval - Tom Hanks. Both Grazer and Howard felt that Hanks was perfect for the role, but they were less sure about who would round out the rest of the cast. To complement the book’s exotic theme, the all-star cast was eventually settled with notable actors such as Ian McKellen, Paul Bettany and Alfred Molina. The role of Sophie was not easily filled, and it is rumored that over 30 well-known French actresses, including Jack Chirac’s daughter’s best friend, auditioned for the role, before Audrey Tautou was finally chosen for the part.
To ensure that the Da Vinci Code movie would be the biggest blockbuster of the summer, Sony Pictures, the company that owns Colombia Pictures, spared no expense for the movie. The final cost is a whopping $125 million dollars. Even Ron Howard felt the pressure to produce a movie that would live up to the expectations of an eager audience. To prepare for the filming, Howard revisited some of the classic religion-flavored Hollywood thrillers, including “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist.” According to Howard, it was his goal to try and emulate the feeling one gets when reading the book, which is no small task considering the range and complexity of events that unfold over the course of the book’s 20 hour time span. In the end, the movie will run just under three hours but Howard assures fans that nothing essential to the story will be lost.
Millions of fans all over the world are eagerly anticipating the release of the Da Vinci Code movie. Many are skeptical about whether or not director Ron Howard will capture the magic that made the book so special. Based on Dan Brown’s comment, "I truly believe moviegoers will come out of the theater feeling like they've just watched the novel.", we should all rest assured that the movie will not disappoint. Until May 19th, everyone will just have to wait and see.