The third book from Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series, ‘The Lost Symbol’ is now a live-action series. NBC’s streamer arm, Peacock is adapting the best-selling novel and has roped in Australian-American actor, Ashley Zukerman to replace Tom Hanks and play the iconic titular character Robert Langdon. The official synopsis reads: “The series follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who finds himself pulled into a series of deadly puzzles when his mentor is kidnapped. The CIA forces him onto a task force where he uncovers a chilling conspiracy.”
In the movies, Tom Hanks made the character his own starring in three installments —The Da Vinci Code (2006), Angels & Demons (2009), and Inferno (2016). The trilogy, despite being moolah-rakers, garnered immense flak and stirred up massive controversy just like the books did. Only time will tell how ‘The Lost Symbol’ series studded with a new cast will perform and safe to say, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the series finds itself embroiled in any controversy. The book, however, received generous praise with The New York Times calling it a novel that’s impossible to put down. Ahead of the series release, here’s a look at some of the controversies the movies saw themselves in.
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‘The Da Vinci Code’ (2006)
The movie was banned in several countries. It was met with criticism by the Catholic Church for the accusations that it was behind an age-old secret that depicted what the Holy Grail really is and the concept of Jesus Christ being married to Mary Magdalene. It even went on to say they had a daughter. This saw serious outrage from religious leaders across the world and encouraged the boycotting of the film. Despite all of the dissension, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ made $224 million becoming the second-highest-grossing film in 2006.
‘Angels & Demons’ (2009)
The storyline sees that the pope has died and the conclave is planning on naming the new successor. Trouble comes in the form of the four candidates being kidnapped by a man claiming to be a member of the Illuminati. He also threatens to kill each of the members and reveals his plans to destroy the Vatican City with an antimatter canister stolen from CERN, the particle physics laboratory.
This sees Langdon (Hanks reprising his role) team up with Dr Vittoria Vetra, a nuclear physicist as they turn Rome upside down in search of the criminal. While the church authorities sort of let the movie slip under the radar calling it a fable, the movie was banned in Samoa because of its critical approach to the Catholic church.
‘Inferno’ sees Hanks’ Langdon and Felicity Jones attempt to stop a virus attack that would release a plague wiping out half of the earth’s population. The duo follows clues based on Dante’s Inferno, left to them by the billionaire, Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who has committed suicide. Before his death, his belief of earth being overpopulated sees him devise a plan to eradicate the issue in the form of a deadly virus attack. According to AARP, the controversy surrounding the film had to do with the author Brown himself who was called by Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.
‘The Lost Symbol’ releases September 16 on Peacock.