In May, Angels & Demons, the latest Tom Hanks film, will be released. It’s based on The Da Vinci Code prequel book (of the same name) by Dan Brown, only the film will be set as a sequel to The Da Vinci Code events. Hanks will once again be playing Professor Robert Langdon, and for those who have read the book, Ewan McGregor plays the counsel priest to the murdered pope, which is totally a brilliant character for him.
I read both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code a few years ago, and even though they’re not “great literature”, they’re both fun, easy reads that don‘t sugar-coat some of the historical shenanigans The Vatican was up to. Both books are huge bestsellers, despite much grumbling from religious groups and, specifically, The Vatican.
When the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code was released in 2006, it got tepid reviews and a semi-organized backlash by the Catholic Church. None of that really mattered though, because the film went on to gross more than $700 million. Some people even thought that with priests sniping at the film and at Dan Brown, the film and books got even more publicity and more people went to see it. Now it looks like The Vatican might be making the same mistake all over again:
Tom Hanks has been busy finishing up the sequel to The Da Vinci Code and may be facing part two of a showdown with the Vatican. The organization, which railed against the first film, may be readying itself to be up at arms against the newest one Angels & Demons.
On Friday, the Vatican’s official newspaper Awenwire ran a story saying the Church “cannot approve” of the film. Another Italian daily La Stampa, echoed the idea saying the Vatican would soon call for a boycott.
However, Archbishop Velasio De Paolis was quoted as warning against a boycott in case it gives the film even more attention, making it that much more popular. Producers of the film were also denied access to film in parts of the Vatican.
The Church’s railing against the first installment didn’t hurt the box office. The Da Vinci Code raked in $760 million. Angels & Demons is set to open on May 15.
From Radar Online
I really believe that The Vatican is so out-of-touch that they would call for a boycott. I suppose there is no one in The Vatican press or media offices who stops and says “Hey, we’re about to give this film millions of dollars of free publicity. Why is that again? For a piece of fiction?”
This news came out just as Pope Benedict was getting hammered internationally for saying that condom use was not the answer in the fight against AIDS and could make the problem worse. The Pope said this Tuesday, while he was traveling to Africa for a formal multi-national visit, and pretty much every HIV/AIDS advocacy group, health organization and national health minister or secretary has bashed him for it. Perhaps this nice, safe, official Vatican boycott against a film is a way of changing the subject away from international disaster.
Photos are stills from Angels & Demons, thanks to Allmoviephoto.