Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon film franchise has enjoyed one significant upgrade already with Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) replacing Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code writer Akiva Goldsman (who lest we not forget has Batman & Robin on his CV) at the scripting stages and now Deadline reports of another step in the right direction.
Mark Romanek, the music video & commercials director who made the stunning thriller One Hour Photo in 2002 and last year’s well made and interesting adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro‘s acclaimed novel Never Let Me Go is about to enter talks with Sony to direct Tom Hanks in The Lost Symbol.
The movie will be based on Dan Brown’s third and so far final novel in the franchise which sold 1 million on it’s first day of release making it the fastest selling adult book in the U.K., U.S. and Canada’s history but for previous director Ron Howard “he just didn’t want to do that thing over and over, the same character and the same stories”. Howard stays on as producer.
This will be the uber talented Romanek’s first blockbuster, though of course he did setup Universal’s remake of The Wolfman before bailing over creative differences and a troubled production right before filming started and over the summer turned down the chance to make The Wolverine with Hugh Jackman.
The key as to why he turned down The Wolverine but has accepted the chance to make The Lost Symbol is probably due to Tom Hanks. Romanek has wanted to work with the actor for years and not so long ago they very nearly teamed on A Cold Case, the ultimate revenge movie about the true story of Andy Rosenweig who made a vow to capture the man responsible for the death of his friend in 1970. He spent the next 27 years on the hunt before he finally got him, then 68 year old Frankie Koehler, in 1997.
Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Curious Case of Benjamin Button) had wrote the script and Hanks was set as Rosenweig but life rights blocked and the picture won’t be made until Koehler dies. Romanek said last year;
“The killer in the film is being paroled soon. When he dies, we can make the film. We still hope to make that movie one day.”
So I imagine Hanks is a huge draw for Romanek here, not to mention it will be assured to give him a financial hit for his CV which always helps when setting up new projects as currently it doesn’t read too well when Never Let Me Go was neither a critical, awards or box office success (though I think Romanek did a great job with a problematic script) and the problems he has had with Universal on The Wolfman and not to mention his t.v. show Locke & Key was cancelled after his pilot.
And for Hanks he gets a director he has wanted to work with and a real quality director to make this the best Robert Langdon movie yet. Depending on the status of Paul Greengrass’ Somali pirates movie that was supposed to be filming last summer with Hanks but got caught up in schedules when he went off to make Cloud Atlas with the Wachowski’s, presumably this one can film next Spring for a summer 2013 release.
Love the director & the screenwriter behind this one. If they can’t make a great Robert Langdon movie, no-one can.
Here’s the plot of the book;
“The Lost Symbol” is a masterstroke of storytelling–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” accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.
As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object–artfully encoded with five symbols–is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation… one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.
When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon–a prominent Mason and philanthropist–is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations–all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.