Television Listings

Faster-paced "Da Vinci Code" sequel premieres in Rome

 Director Ron Howard (L) and actor Tom Hanks (C) joke with author Dan Brown at the world premiere of the movie
Director Ron Howard (L) and actor Tom Hanks (C) joke with author Dan Brown at the world premiere of the movie 'Angels & Demons' in Rome May 4, 2009. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
— image credit: Reuters

By Phil Stewart

ROME (Reuters) - The movie sequel to "The Da Vinci Code" is being greeted as a faster-paced, more gripping film than the original and is respectful to Catholics, director Ron Howard said at its Rome premiere on Monday.

"Angels & Demons," a film adaptation of the novel by Dan Brown, sees symbologist Robert Langdon return to the big screen to try to help the Vatican rescue kidnapped cardinals who are being killed on the hour.

He also must stop a ticking time bomb by tracking down clues linked to a centuries-old secret society called the Illuminati.

"Everyone is telling me that they find this movie to be more entertaining, more exciting, more engrossing," Howard told Reuters on the red carpet.

Brown told a news conference ahead of the premiere that his novel "Angels & Demons" was an easier fit to cinema "and this difference really shows through in this movie."

Howard's adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code" was a commercial success, earning $750 million, but it was panned by critics and offended some Catholics. Trade publication Variety called it "stodgy" and "grim."

Tom Hanks told Reuters the pace of the new movie was "bang, bang. There's no time for anything."

"It really gallops at quite a pace," he said.

He joked that also meant no love scenes with the movie's leading woman, a physicist played by actress Ayelet Zurer, who accompanies Langdon on his search through Rome and the Vatican.

"We really don't have time to make out or go to bed when cardinals are being killed on the hour," Hanks said at the weekend news conference.

"We tried to work it into screenplay over and over again. Is there a hotel the cardinals can be held in? Isn't there a bigger car, with a bigger back seat?"

Zurer agreed, telling Reuters "you really can't sneak a love scene in the back of a car seat while you chase a murderer."

VATICAN REACTION

Howard has accused the Vatican of trying to hamper his filming in Rome of "Angels & Demons," which had to recreate scenes of the Vatican and some Rome churches in Los Angeles.

He has also blamed the Vatican for using its influence to get an event tied to the movie's Rome premiere canceled.

"They certainly didn't want to cooperate with (the movie)," Howard said.

"The Da Vinci Code" upset the Vatican and some Catholics because of its storyline, in which Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children, creating a royal bloodline that Church officials kept secret for centuries.

Christianity teaches that Jesus never married, was crucified and rose from the dead.

But "Angels & Demons" does not raise questions about Jesus Christ. Howard said that was one possible reason why the Church has so far avoided the kind of open confrontation that characterized its reaction to "The Da Vinci Code."

"The hot-button issues of 'The Da Vinci Code' spoke to some of the really fundamental principles of the faith. I think it was much more provocative," Howard said.

Vatican observers say the Church also appeared eager to avoid giving publicity to the movie by reacting to it.

"I hope the movie is very respectful to people of faith and we went out of our way to make sure that there are characters that make very valid arguments for all the good that the Church also accomplishes," Howard said.

(Editing by Charles Dick)

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Young voices from Africa
 
A puppet show – but leave the kids at home
 
Sweden calls off search for submarine
Elevating dance in Surrey
 
Detroit Mass Mob fills pews in struggling churches
 
Costumed kids to swarm Cloverdale merchants Saturday
The Best and Worst Movies To Watch This Halloween (VIDEO)
 
Alberta stays lucky: couple win $30M lotto jackpot
 
Jim Byrnes pays tribute to blues roots

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.