plan to rebuild a German master race by cloning Adolf Hitler. In a lot of ways, Ira Levin was the Dan Brown of the ‘60s and ‘70s. That is, he was a novelist with a bunch of very good, clever ideas (“What if a sweet young innocent was unwittingly impregnated by Satan?” “What if all the seemingly perfect wives in a seemingly perfect suburban community were really robots?”). He was a master of the outrageous storyline and the twist ending.
The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery thriller novel by Dan Brown. It is Brown's second novel to include the character Robert Langdon: the first was his 2000 novel Angels & Demons. The Da Vinci Code follows "symbologist"
Robert Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu after a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris causes them to become involved in a battle between the
Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene having had a child together.
The novel explores an alternative religious history, whose central plot point is that the Merovingian kings of France were descended from the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, ideas derived from Clive Prince's The Templar Revelation (1997) and books by Margaret Starbird. The book also refers to The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) though Dan Brown has stated that it was not used as research material.
The Da Vinci Code provoked a popular interest in speculation concerning the Holy Grail legend and Mary Magdalene's role in the history of Christianity. The book has, however, been extensively denounced by many Christian denominations as an attack on the Catholic Church, and consistently criticized for its historical and scientific inaccuracies. The novel nonetheless became a massive worldwide bestseller that sold 80 million copies as of 2009 and has been translated into 44 languages. In November 2004, Random House published a Special Illustrated Edition with 160 illustrations. In 2006, a film adaptation was released by Columbia Pictures.
Louvre curator and Priory of Sion grand master Jacques Saunière is fatally shot one night at the museum by an albino Catholic monk named Silas, who is working on behalf of someone he knows only as the Teacher, who wishes to discover the location of the "keystone," an item crucial in the search for the Holy Grail.
After Saunière's body is discovered in the pose of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, the police summon Harvard professor Robert Langdon, who is in town on business. Police captain Bezu Fache tells him that he was summoned to help the police decode the cryptic message Saunière left during the final minutes of his life. The message includes a Fibonacci sequence out of order and an anagram 'O, draconian devil Oh, lame saint'.
Langdon explains to Fache that the pentacle Saunière drew on his chest in his own blood represents an allusion to the goddess and not devil worship, as Fache believes.
Sophie Neveu, a police cryptographer, secretly explains to Langdon that she is Saunière's estranged granddaughter, and that Fache thinks Langdon is the murderer because the last line in her grandfather's message, which was meant for Neveu, said "P.S. Find Robert Langdon," which Fache had erased prior to Langdon's arrival. However, "P.S." does not refer to "postscript", but rather to Sophie — the nickname given to her by her grandfather was "Princess Sophie". However, she understands that her grandfather intended Langdon to decipher the code, which leads to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, which in turn leads to his painting Madonna of the Rocks. They find a pendant which holds the address of the Paris branch of the Depository Bank of Zurich.
Neveu and Langdon escape from the police and visit the bank. In the safe deposit box they find a box containing the keystone: a cryptex, a cylindrical, hand-held vault with five concentric, rotating dials labeled with letters. When these are lined up correctly, they unlock the device. If the cryptex is forced open, an enclosed vial of vinegar breaks and dissolves the message inside the cryptex, which was written on papyrus. The box containing the cryptex contains clues to its password.
Langdon and Neveu take the keystone to the home of Langdon's friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, an expert on the Holy Grail, the legend of which is heavily connected to the Priory. There, Teabing explains that the Grail is not a cup, but connected to Mary Magdalene, and that she was Jesus Christ's wife and is the person to his right in The Last Supper.
The trio then flees the country on Teabing's private plane, on which they conclude that the proper combination of letters spell out Neveu's given name, Sofia. Opening the cryptex, they discover a smaller cryptex inside it, along with another riddle that ultimately leads the group to the tomb of Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey.
During the flight to Britain, Neveu reveals the source of her estrangement from her grandfather ten years earlier: arriving home unexpectedly from university, Neveu secretly witnessed a spring fertility rite conducted in the secret basement of her grandfather's country estate. From her hiding place, she was shocked to see her grandfather with a woman at the center of a ritual attended by men and women who were wearing masks and chanting praise to the goddess. She fled the house and broke off all contact with Saunière. Langdon explains that what she witnessed was an ancient ceremony known as hieros gamos or "sacred marriage."
By the time they arrive at Westminster Abbey, Teabing is revealed to be the Teacher for whom Silas is working. Teabing wishes to use the Holy Grail, which he believes is a series of documents establishing that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and fathered children, in order to ruin the Vatican. He compels Langdon at gunpoint to solve the second cryptex's password, which Langdon realizes is "apple." Langdon secretly opens the cryptex and removes its contents before tossing the empty cryptex in the air.
Teabing is arrested by Fache, who by now realizes that Langdon is innocent. Bishop Aringarosa, head of religious sect Opus Dei and Silas' mentor, realizing that Silas has been used to murder innocent people, rushes to help the police find him. When the police find Silas hiding in an Opus Dei Center, he assumes that they are there to kill him and he rushes out, accidentally shooting Bishop Aringarosa. Bishop Aringarosa survives but is informed that Silas was found dead later from a gunshot wound.
The final message inside the second keystone leads Neveu and Langdon to Rosslyn Chapel, whose docent turns out to be Neveu's long-lost brother, whom Neveu had been told died as a child in the car accident that killed her parents. The guardian of Rosslyn Chapel, Marie Chauvel Saint Clair, is Neveu's long-lost grandmother. It is revealed that Neveu and her brother are descendants of Mary Magdalene. The Priory of Sion hid her identity to protect her from possible threats to her life.
The real meaning of the last message is that the Grail is buried beneath the small pyramid directly below the La Pyramide Inversée, the inverted glass pyramid of the Louvre. It also lies beneath the "Rose Line," an allusion to "Rosslyn." Langdon figures out this final piece to the puzzle; he follows the Rose Line (prime meridian) to La Pyramide Inversée, where he kneels to pray before the hidden sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene, as the Templar knights did before her.
The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman, and based on Dan Brown's 2003 novel of the same name. The first in the Robert Langdon film series, the film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany. In the film, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. On the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. Langdon escapes with the assistance of police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, and they begin a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. A noted British Grail historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci's wall painting, The Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wish to keep the true Grail a secret to prevent the destruction of Christianity.
The film, like the book, was considered controversial. It was met with especially harsh criticism by the Catholic Church for the accusation that it is behind a two-thousand-year-old cover-up concerning what the Holy Grail really is and the concept that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and that the union produced a daughter, as well as its treatment of the organizations Priory of Sion and Opus Dei. Many members urged the laity to boycott the film. In the book, Dan Brown states that the Priory of Sion and "all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
The film grossed $224 million in its worldwide opening weekend and a total of $760 million worldwide, becoming the second-highest-grossing film of 2006, as well as Howard's highest-grossing film to date. However, the film received generally negative reviews from critics. It was followed by two sequels, Angels & Demons (2009) and Inferno (2016).
Jones, The Last Crusade, is also about the search for the
- Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon
- Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu
- Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing
- Alfred Molina as Bishop Aringarosa
- Jürgen Prochnow as André Vernet
- Jean Reno as Police Captain Bezu Fache
- Paul Bettany as Silas
- Hugh Mitchell as young Silas
- Étienne Chicot as Lieutenant Jérôme Collet
- Jean-Yves Berteloot as Remy Jean
- Jean-Pierre Marielle as Jacques Saunière
- Charlotte Graham as Mary Magdalene
- Seth Gabel as Michael the Cleric
- Marie-Françoise Audollent as Sister Sandrine
- Francesco Carnelutti as Prefect
- Rita Davies as Elegant Woman at Rosslyn
- Denis Podalydès as Flight Controller
- Author Dan Brown and his wife make cameos (forefront) in the first scene of the book signing scene.
- The Templar Revelation authors Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince make a brief appearance as passengers on a bus.
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
The film rights were purchased from Dan Brown for $6 million. Bill Paxton was the director Ron Howard's first choice for the role of Robert Langdon, but had to decline as he was beginning filming for the television series Big Love.
The filmmakers shot many of the inside scenes at Pinewood Studios; the opening sequence in the cavernous 007 Stage at Pinewood Shepperton, where the interior of the Louvre was recreated. In this sequence, Hanks' character is taken by French police to the Louvre, where a dead body has been discovered. David White of Altered States FX, a prosthetics and special make-up effects company, was tasked with creating a naked photorealistic silicone body for the scene. Lighting effects were utilized to obscure the body's genitalia; a technique also used on television programs such as NCIS.
Pinewood's state-of-the-art Underwater Stage was used to film underwater sequences. The stage opened in 2005 after four years of planning and development. The water in the tank is filtered using an ultraviolet system, which creates crystal clear water, and the water is maintained at 30 °C (86 °F) to create a comfortable environment to work in for both cast and crew.
Alternative versions of Bettany's nude flagellation scenes were shot, in which he wears a black loincloth. Clips of these versions appear in the History Channel's Opus Dei Unveiled documentary, broadcast in summer 2006.
he Louvre gave permission to film relevant scenes at their premises. A replica of the Mona Lisa was used during filming as the crew was not allowed to illuminate the original work with their lighting. During the on-site filming at the Louvre, the Mona Lisa's chamber was used as a storage room. Westminster Abbey denied the use of its premises, as did Saint-Sulpice. The Westminster Abbey scenes were instead filmed at Lincoln and Winchester cathedrals, which both belong to the Church of England. (Westminster Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, a church or chapel under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch; whereas Saint-Sulpice is a Roman Catholic institution.)
Due to the denial of a location permit for Saint-Sulpice, the entire scene had to be recreated virtually by post-production company Rainmaker U.K. and though the set had been partially built, the co-ordinates were centimeters out from what the compositors had expected and so the entire process was extremely difficult to complete.
Lincoln Cathedral reportedly received £100,000 in exchange for the right to film there, with photography occurring between August 15 and 19, 2005, mainly within the cloisters of the cathedral. The cathedral's bell, which strikes the hour, was silent for the first time since World War II during that time. Although it remained a closed set, protesters led by a 61-year-old woman named Sister Mary Michael demonstrated against the filming. Sister Mary Michael spent 12 hours praying on her knees outside the cathedral in protest against what she saw as the blasphemous use of a holy place to film a book containing heresy.
Winchester Cathedral answered criticism by using its location fee to fund an exhibition, lecture series, and campaign to debunk the book. The scenes for the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, were filmed on location at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, England.
Shoreham Airport in West Sussex, England, was used as a filming location, with its art-deco terminal building utilized in a night shoot for the scenes at Le Bourget Airport.
Filming also took place elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Locations included the King's College London campus, Fairfield Halls (Croydon), the Temple Church (London), Burghley House (Lincolnshire) and Rosslyn Chapel and Rosslyn Castle (Midlothian, Scotland) make an appearance at the final part of the film.
PROTESTS & LAWSUITS
There were protesters at several film theaters across the United States on the opening weekend protesting about the themes of the film, citing it as blasphemy and claiming that it shamed both the Catholic Church and Jesus Christ himself. More than 200 protesters also turned out in Athens, Greece, to protest against the film's release shortly before opening day. In Manila, the film was banned from all theaters by the local MTRCB as an R18 film for the Philippines. In Pittsburgh, protesters also showed up at a special screening of the film the day before its widespread release. Protests also occurred at the filming sites, but only a monk and a nun stood in a quiet protest at the Cannes premiere. In Chennai, India, the film was banned for two months to appease local Christian and Muslim groups.
At a conference on April 28, 2006, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican curial department, Archbishop Angelo Amato specifically called for a boycott of the film. He said that the film was "full of calumnies, offences, and historical and theological errors".
Cardinal Francis Arinze, in a documentary called The Da Vinci Code: A Masterful Deception, urged unspecified legal action against the makers of the film. He was formerly Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican.
U.S. Catholic bishops launched a website, JesusDecoded.com, refuting the critical claims in the novel that were about to be brought to the screen. The bishops were concerned about what they said were errors and serious misstatements in The Da Vinci Code. The film has also been rated morally offensive by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting, which denounced its depiction of both the Jesus-Mary Magdalene relationship and that of Opus Dei as "deeply abhorrent".
Author Lewis Perdue alleged that Brown plagiarized from two of his novels, The Da Vinci Legacy, originally published in 1983, and Daughter of God, originally published in 2000. He sought to block distribution of the book and film. However, Judge George Daniels of the US District Court in New York ruled against Perdue in 2005, saying that "A reasonable average lay observer would not conclude that The Da Vinci Code is substantially similar to Daughter of God" and that "Any slightly similar elements are on the level of generalized or otherwise unprotectable
ideas." Perdue appealed, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the original decision, saying Mr. Perdue's arguments were "without merit".
In early 2006, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh filed suit against Brown's publishers, Random House. They alleged that significant portions of The Da Vinci Code were plagiarized from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, violating their copyright. Brown confirmed during the court case that he named the principal Grail expert of his story Leigh Teabing, an anagram of "Baigent Leigh", after the two plaintiffs. In reply to the suggestion that Henry Lincoln was also referred to in the book, since he has medical problems resulting in a severe limp, like the character of Leigh Teabing, Brown stated he was unaware of Lincoln's illness and the correspondence was a coincidence. Since Baigent and Leigh had presented their conclusions as historical research, not as fiction, Mr Justice Peter Smith, who presided over the trial, deemed that a novelist must be free to use these ideas in a fictional context, and ruled against Baigent and Leigh. Smith also hid his own secret code in his written judgement, in the form of seemingly random italicized letters in the 71-page document, which apparently spell out a message. Smith indicated he would confirm the code if someone broke it. After losing before the High Court on July 12, 2006, they then appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Court of Appeal.
In April 2006 Mikhail Anikin, a Russian scientist and art historian working as a senior researcher at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, stated the intention to bring a lawsuit against Dan Brown, maintaining that he was the one who coined the phrase used as the book's title and one of the ideas regarding the Mona Lisa used in its plot. Anikin interprets the Mona Lisa to be a Christian allegory consisting of two images, one of Jesus Christ that comprises the image's right half, one of the Virgin Mary that forms its left half. According to Anikin, he expressed this idea to a group of experts from the Museum of Houston during a 1988 René Magritte exhibit at the Hermitage, and when one of the Americans requested permission to pass it along to a friend Anikin granted the request on condition that he be credited in any book using his interpretation. Anikin eventually compiled his research into Leonardo da Vinci or Theology on Canvas, a book published in 2000, but The Da Vinci Code, published three years later, makes no mention of Anikin and instead asserts that the idea in question is a "well-known opinion of a number of scientists."
Brown has been sued twice in U.S. Federal courts by the author Jack Dunn who claims Brown copied a huge part of his book The Vatican Boys to write The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. Both lawsuits were not allowed to go to a jury trial. In 2017, in London, another claim was begun against Brown by Jack Dunn who claimed that justice was not served in the U.S. lawsuits.
Possibly the largest reaction occurred in Kolkata, India, where a group of around 25 protesters "stormed" Crossword bookstore, pulled copies of the book from the racks and threw them to the ground. On the same day, a group of 50–60 protesters successfully made the Oxford Bookstore on Park Street decide to stop selling the book "until the controversy sparked by the film's release was resolved". Thus in 2006, seven Indian states (Nagaland, Punjab, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh) banned the release or exhibition of the Hollywood movie The Da Vinci Code (as well as the book). Later, two states lifted the ban under high court order.
THE MUMMY - UNDER DEVELOPMENT 2022
- The Mummy' is the proposed sequel to 'Kulo-Luna.'
Kulo-Luna, the first script of the John Storm franchise (for which a draft
is available to studios and actor's agents). The John Storm
franchise is a series of
ocean awareness adventures, featuring the incredible solar
powered trimaran: Elizabeth
Swann. Cleopatra The Mummy, could be the pilot, with Kulo-Luna, or
Treasure Island the prequel or sequel. The
order of production could be to suit identified gaps in
entertainment, in any particular year. Equally, the trilogy,
could be adapted for network television.