USA Today has posted the first official images from director Ron Howard‘s Angels & Demons, the prequel to 2006′s The Da Vinci Code.
The film, based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown, sees the return of Tom Hanks as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, whose last adventures led him through Europe following an intricate trail of codes in order to solve a murder and expose a centuries’ old religious conspiracy.
This time around, Langdon assists in a murder investigation which turns into another code-cracking adventure through crypts, catacombs, and cathedrals where the Harvard professor must stop the Illuminati from destroying the Vatican City.
You’ll notice from the photos that while Hanks is back, his weird slicked-back lengthy hairstyle is gone, as is a few extra pounds. Hanks’ Da Vinci Code look was nothing like I imagined Langdon (always pictured Bill Pullman in the role), who is described in the book as having a swimmer’s build. It seems like the filmmakers finally took that into consideration…
I’m telling you, he’s got a scene where he’s swimming in Speedos, and he looks fantastic,” [producer Brian] Grazer says. “He’s going to add 10 years to his career with that scene alone, just watch.”
Starring with Hanks is Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra, a research scientist that assists Langdon on his quest, and Ewan McGregor as Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca, a servant to the church in the Vatican City.
I don’t want to say much more about the characters and plot, as this is one of this stories with lots of twists and revelations.
While The Da Vinci Code film did well worldwide, it wasn’t as widely accepted as the continuously best-selling novel. The filmmakers believe it’s because The Da Vinci Code, while sticking to the points of the book, might have been a little slow on the action. That’s why for Angels & Demons, they picked up the pace.
Langdon doesn’t stop and give a speech,” Grazer says. “When he speaks, he’s in motion.”
Angels & Demons hits theaters on May 15, 2009.
Check out the full article at USA Today for more details about the film.