Though I feverishly tore through the book like a man who hadn't eaten in weeks, when I first watched the big-screen version of The Da Vinci Code, I fell asleep twice. Not once. Twice! And I never fall asleep during a film -- it's, like, against everything I stand for ... or something like that. Regardless, Dan Brown's books are as addicting as your favorite drug. And, right after Ron Howard's film snatched up a truckload of money at the box office, a big-screen version of Angels & Demons was all but certain. While the follow-up was first announced almost a year ago, we haven't heard much about it recently, save for Akiva Goldsman's $4 million payday to pen the script. Now, Cinema Blend reports (via one of their top secret inside sources) that Tom Hanks has officially signed on to reprise the role of Robert Langdon.
Not only has he signed on, but Sony has reportedly shelled out "the biggest salary ever paid to an actor in the history of Hollywood" in order to lock up Hanks in the main role. I'm sorry, but his performance in Da Vinci didn't exactly grab me by the throat -- I hate to say it, but the character is pretty damn boring. It was the story I found fascinating, not Hanks. But, since the moviegoing public is used to seeing Hanks play Langdon, Sony knew they would have to bring him back if they had any chance at another explosive box office take. (Personally, I'd rather see Clive Owen -- the man can stare at a wall for two hours and I'd find it Oscar worthy.)
Angels & Demons takes place one year prior to The Da Vinci Code story. Professor Langdon is summoned to analyze the mysterious symbol that's carved into some dead guy, then winds up pairing up with yet another foreign beauty (apparently, supermodel Gisele Bundchen is up for that role) in an attempt to save the Vatican from a time bomb. Supposedly, Sony was interested in rushing this puppy through in order to release it in 2008; if that's the case, then I expect the deals (will Howard return to direct?) to be announced soon, with production to begin later this year.