First Look: Tom Hanks in Ron Howard's Angels and Demons

June 6, 2008

First Look: Tom Hanks in Ron Howard's Angels and Demons

Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code was a flat-out mega success. The 2006 movie adaptation, not so much (if you count what matters at least). While the film made more than $750 million worldwide, it holds an embarrassingly low 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Can we expect the same disparity from Brown's other novel, Angels and Demons, which is currently filming in Rome? That's a larger question I don't want to answer just yet. Instead, let's take our first look at star Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard on set, thanks to Check out a few of our first on-set shots from Angels and Demons below.

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

The photos aren't exactly exciting. Hanks looks just as he did in 2006's The Da Vinci Code as symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon. The gal in a few of the shots is Ayelet Zurer who plays Vittoria Vetra, the daughter of a murdered CERN physicist. Her father's murder, carried out by the mysterious Illuminati, brings to light a conspiracy by the secret society to destroy the Vatican City using antimatter. Talk about a battle between science and religion - but that's exactly what makes this such a great book.

Noticeably absent from these photos is one of my favorite actors, Ewan McGregor. McGregor joins the Brown franchise as Camerlegno Carlo Ventresca, a papal aide that assists Langdon and Vetra in their search for the canister in which the antimatter is contained. Additionally, Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino can be seen tagging alongside of Hanks. Favino plays the Vatican's Commander Olivetti, who helps Langdon in his search for the antimatter throughout Rome and the Vatican City.

Even though some of the topics and mysteries that Brown deftly weaves into his stories are truly fascinating, I have a feeling Angels and Demons will be just as drab as The Da Vinci Code. Akiva Goldsmith returns to helm the screenplay - a guy our friends over at Cinematical describe as one of their "least favorite working screenwriter[s]," responsible for "dull, leaden dialogue." And though Ron Howard is a great guy, his projects (Cinderella Man, The Missing) have a somewhat saturated blockbuster feel to them that are perfectly fine, but nothing I'm really excited about. Is anyone excited?

Find more posts: First Look, Hype



At least Hanks lost that embarassing haircut from the first movie.

Young Dave on Jun 6, 2008


I'm excited! I'm still holding out hope that this will be miles better than Da Vinci Code. Maybe Ron Howard learned his lesson and whipped Akiva into shape, which is why there was a delay. They had to finish polishing the script and Akiva was striking at the time. Maybe that's a good sign? Either way - I'm definitely still excited for it! 🙂

Alex Billington on Jun 6, 2008


i liked the da vinci code,didnt read the book but liked the movie, hope part 2 is good.

Darrin on Jun 6, 2008


Da Vinci code was such a trash movie, that i'm baffled at the audacity to make a "sequel".

Discateia on Jun 6, 2008


to each his own....I rather liked the subject matter of the Da Vinci Code and this sounds like some more interesting material...I mean, if I have to hear about another comic book movie or talk of toys that transform into fighting robots I think I will just stop going to the theaters altogether...jmho...

moldybread on Jun 6, 2008


I recently read Angels and Demons, and rather prefered it to the Da Vinci Code. Could be a good movie if they do it right. One would hope they would have picked up on what people didn't like from the first movie. At the very least we'll get to spend two hours looking at the Eternal City. 🙂

aviv on Jun 6, 2008


I love Ewan McGregor's acting-he's about the best thing out there. But why is he wasting his time with this silly muck? I'm not a fan of established religions and think movies about them are a deadly bore. But it could be campy fun to see Ewan dress up in vestments-let's hope with some lace? As for "Opie"- he makes a good movie every ten years and this is NOT his year.

Everett on Jun 6, 2008


Whatever happened to Noami Watts?

leo on Jun 6, 2008


Uhhh, Cinderella Man was an incredible movie. Not really sure why you mentioned that one.

Zach D. on Jun 6, 2008


i dont know... Da Vinci Code wasnt that was just SO BORING...and even a terribly bad movie is not as annoying as a boring movie! then again, maybe for people who hadnt read the book it was a pleasant experience... personally, i think that Mr Howard has become a master at making very clean cut , paint by numbers movies. Cinderella Man, A beautiful mind...even backdraft was pretty «by the book». Not to say that they are awful movies and that Ron Howard is a terrible filmmaker... i just think that Angels & Demons would have needed an edgier filmmaker... some parts of the book are quite dark and violent and borderline trashy ... The Dan Brown books are constructed as movies, while reading them you can see the editing, the camera movements even the lighting... they could make great movies in the proper hands. That being said i do hope for the best , i like the casting so far and i dont want to start bashing the project yet but i would have hoped for a little change behind the camera. Ron Howard + Akiva Goldsman + Tom just not edgy enough. I just hope that they make a crazy adaptation of Deception Point who would make an amazing movie or better yet a fantastic season of «24» since it pretty much takes place in one day... BTW the actor playing Oliveiri is the one that played that general in Caspian right? any clues on whos been cast for The Assassin or Max koehler?

Maxwell on Jun 7, 2008


i enjoyed angels and demons more then da vinci so i have much higher hopes for this one. i'm glad they stuck with hanks and gave him a haircut ha

funnytunney on Jun 7, 2008


Having read both books Angels and Demons was more exciting than the Da Vinci Code in my opion which hopefully means it will be more exciting as a movie. Also Angels and Demons came out before the Da Vinci Code so this could be considered a pre-qual.

rodan8812 on Jun 7, 2008


Da Vinci code was an amazing read. It was like watching a season long sitcom that kept you wanting more. On the other hand, the movie didn't do the book justice. The pace was too rushed. It seemed like the movie was on fast-forward to have the most important details in the book. If it was 3 hours long I think it would've been better. Recently longer movies seem more epic and very good. Hope A&D fixes those problems that DC had.

Mike Balrog on Jun 7, 2008


Young Dave, that is exactly the first thing I looked for. And you know what, I think that its still there, just toned down a bit. ugh. The books are better. I never thought Tom Hanks was a good fit.

melissa on Jun 7, 2008


I loved ANgels and demons book more than the others. I hope this one is better than the Da Vinci Code. Sure, the cast is awesome here. Favino is a great actor too, I love him *_*

samy on Jun 7, 2008


Both books, Da Vinci Code and Demons & Angels are wonderfully written and 2 of my favorite books, the movie did not do the 1st book justice... I anxiously await Demons & Angels... I hope this one does do the book justice.

Rebecca on Jun 19, 2008


I finished the book just yesterday and the ending made me laugh so I hope the ending of the movie will be just as good as the ending in the book

Cody on Jun 25, 2008


Over the years I've observed that when a critic doesn't like a movie the general public usually loves it. And when a critic reccommends a movie it is usually terrible. All of the "regular" people I know really liked the Da Vince Code and look forward to seeing Ron Howard's and Tom Hanks' brillance in Angel and Demons.

Betty on Jul 9, 2008


One simply is unable to put everything from a book into a just-2-hours-short-movie.'The Da Vinci code-The Movie' tried as much as it could possibly do, to do justice to the book. On the first viewing I thought TDVC was an OK movie. But on closer 2nd viewing, I really appreciated Howard's efforts to cram so much in so little time and still make it interesting. TDVC and A&D, both, have their own distinct identities. And I am looking forward to join you all in the chase for the Hassasin ...on-screen ...On May 15th.

Amol on Feb 16, 2009


I've read both The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, and although TDVC was a great book, Angels and Demons is fantastic, and grips you right from the first page. It will make an amazing film if they cast exactly the right person in the part of the Hassassin. I can hardly wait until May 15th. The Da Vinci Code was okay as a film, although they changed the ending to that written in the book . . . Let's hope Ron Howard and his team portray A&D exactly as the book - we should be in for a gripping film if they do.

Fiona on Mar 11, 2009

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