"Angels & Demons" is a follow-up film to the international hit "The Da Vinci Code." It is based on Dan Brown's novel of the same name. The book "Angels & Demons" was written before "The Da Vinci Code," but the movie is set after the events of the latter novel. "Angels & Demons" was released on May 15, 2009 by Imagine Entertainment and Columbia Pictures. Like "The Da Vinci Code," it takes a controversial look at aspects of the Catholic church, something the Vatican tends to frown on.
Cast and Crew
"Angels & Demons" was directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks (who is reprising his role from "The Da Vinci Code"), Ewan McGregor and Ayelet Zurer. This movie is Hanks' and Howard's fourth film together, having collaborated on "The Da Vinci Code," "Apollo 13" and 1984's "Splash." The film was produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, John Calley and Dan Brown, who also contributed to the screenplay.
Robert Langdon (Hanks) is pulled into a mystery by the beautiful Vittoria Vetra (Zurer) after the murder of her father. The gruesome crime seems to have been committed by the shadowy "Illuminati," an ancient secret society. Four cardinals are abducted, and the kidnapper threatens to kill one of them per hour before destroying Vatican City with an anti-matter bomb. Langdon and Vetra follow a series of ancient clues through Rome as they search for the secret headquarters of the Illuminati. Eventually, they discover that the events have been orchestrated by the Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (McGregor), who wants to restore the people's faith in God and the church by staging a last-minute "miracle" to save the day.
Leonardo DiCaprio was offered the role of the Camerlengo before it went to Ewan McGregor, and Naomi Watts was originally cast as Vittoria before Ayelet Zurer took the role. Filming of this movie was postponed by the 2007 Writer's Guild of America strike.
Many of the themes in "Angels & Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code" are intertwined and equally controversial. Many church officials have condemned both films as blasphemy due to subject matter questioning the Opus Dei sect of Catholicism and the concept that a church official would commit brutal murders in order to lure people back into the flock. Several churches and other Vatican locations refused to allow the movie to be filmed within their walls, requiring them to be recreated on a sound stage. Various congregations around the world have also tried to ban the movies within their communities.
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