Catholic Church Restricts 'Angels & Demons' Filming
The Tom Hanks 'Da Vinci Code' sequel will have to make do with other Italian locations
Why are we not surprised?
"Angels & Demons" is the follow-up to the blockbuster success of "The Da Vinci Code" and stars Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor. Like "The Da Vinci Code," it's based on a novel by Dan Brown and, like "The Da Vinci Code," its approach to the Catholic Church is, at best, murky.
According to media reports, the Ron Howard directed production sought permission for the Italian Interior Ministry to film at the Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria churches. While the Interior Ministry owns the churches, they're operated by the Catholic Church, which politely declined the request.
"Normally, we read the script, but this time it was not necessary," Monsignor Marco Fibbi, spokesman for the Rome Diocese, explains to the Ansa Italian News Agency. "The name Dan Brown was enough."
In "Angels & Demons," Hanks' Robert Langdon is drawn into a series of murders tied to the selection of a new pope. Both the Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria churches are featured as the sites of particularly gristly killings, which might have been cause for a filming ban even without Brown's name attached.
"Angels & Demons," production delayed slightly due to the writers strike, is still scheduled for release in May 2009.