Ron Howard's Angels and Demons Delayed Due to Writers Strike!
If the Writers Guild strike isn't annoying you enough by killing off all your late night TV shows and ending your favorite regular TV series earlier then expected, just wait until it starts hitting hard on movies. The first big movie to be heavily affected by the writers strike is Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's novel Angels & Demons. The film was set by Sony to hit theaters on December 19th late next year, but has been moved to May 15th, 2009. Apparently the script, although "very strong," still needs revisions to become the "fully-realized production draft" that they want. Instead of just producing what they've got, Sony felt it was better to wait until the writers are back so that they can revise it. Smart move, Sony!
Here's the official statement Sony released to Nikkie Finke at Deadline Hollywood:
"With the strike nearing its third week, Columbia Pictures has postponed production of Angels & Demons. While the filmmakers and the studio feel the screenplay is very strong, we do not believe it is the fully-realized production draft required of this ambitious project. At this time, there is no new start date for Angels & Demons, but we are setting a release date of May 15, 2009 and are hopeful to deliver the movie worldwide to theaters on that date. We do not expect any other film on our 2008 slate to be affected."
Details on the film came out in October, which you can read over at SlashFilm, including that the film was slated to go into production in February of 2008. The film was going to shoot primarily on location in Rome, which if you've read the book makes sense. The screenwriter on the project is Akiva Goldsman, who also wrote A Beautiful Mind, I, Robot, Cinderella Man, and the adaptation of Robert Langdon's other adventure, The Da Vinci Code. It's likely that Goldsman will be returning once the strike is over to finish revising the script.
Based on Dan Brown's novel "Angels and Demons", the movie follows world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), who is summoned to a Swiss research facility (CERN) to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. He discovers evidence of the unimaginable, the rebirth of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati, the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth.
This has got to be one of the smartest things any studio has done in light of the writer's strike. If it were Fox, they'd probably be putting the crappy script into production. Thank goodness Sony actually wants Angels & Demons to be very good. Maybe they're trying to recover from the rather poor reviews of The Da Vinci Code, which should have been a bigger hit, and wait for a better script. I'll definitely say that I'm quite pleased to hear Sony do this.