By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist March 2, 2012 at 9:40AM
While we’d be lying if we clamored on about the supposed artistic merits to the work of author Dan Brown, there’s little denying that both his books and their film adaptations are big business, especially after being turned into two successful blockbusters in “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons.” While it was director Ron Howard who kick started the chronicles of symbologist Robert Langdon with “Da Vinci Code” in 2006, after the creative and financial drop-off of the second installment “Angels & Demons,” Howard recently opted out of directing the third Brown novel in the Langdon series. This left studio Sony looking for a replacement director for “The Lost Symbol,” and they put “Never Let Me Go” helmer Mark Romenek at the top of their list.
"Eastern Promises" writer Steven Knight and Dan Brown himself have already taken a pass at the script, and now another writer has entered the fold according to Deadline, with Danny Strong stepping up to feature films to help crack whatever convoluted code Dan Brown has conjured up this time. Strong wrote the Jay Roach-directed HBO movie “Recount,” which recollected the 2000 election fiasco, and also penned the upcoming “Game Change.” Deadline has it that Romanek is still in the cards to direct, with Howard producing along with Imagine cohort Brian Grazer, who was also behind the first two films, with the status of Hanks reprising his role still unconfirmed, but exepected.
For those who like reading pulpy thriller novels of Brown’s kind while taking a flight across the country or waiting to see the doctor, that’s fine, but for this writer at least the Brown craze sweeping its way into cinemas is crossing the line. Neither “The Da Vinci Code” nor “Angels & Demons” amounted to much outside of exacting, lifeless cinematic representations of their literature counterparts (and that' using the term “literature” loosely). Perhaps Romanek can provide a visual flair, matched with a little wit from Strong's script, but is there really anybody out there dying to see this movie? But that said, Brown’s work sells, and he's got a devoted fanbase.
No projected release dates yet, so we’ll have to wait and see if this one actually gets off the ground anytime soon.