Eight years have passed since Robert Langdon – the globe-trotting symbologist created by author Dan Brown – was last seen on the big screen, in Angels & Demons. However, the character (again portrayed by Tom Hanks) returns in 2016 with Inferno, a film adaptation of the fourth Langdon novel written by Brown – following after Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol. Although Lost Symbol was originally slated to be adapted for the big screen prior to Inferno, Sony Pictures Entertainment ultimately elected to instead move forward next with a movie adaptation of the latter (a best-seller when it released in 2013).
Inferno was adapted by screenwriter David Koepp (who also penned Angels & Demons) and directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard – the helmsman on both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. Sony has released a couple of U.S. trailers for Inferno at this stage in the film’s marketing campaign. However, the movie’s recently-unveiled international trailer arguably paints a clearer picture of the over-arching narrative in Inferno than either of its domestic counterparts do.
As is outlined in the above international trailer for Inferno, the film begins with Langdon waking up in an Italian hospital – haunted by disturbing visions of an apocalyptic event and unable to recall how he wound up in Italy to begin with. His doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), ends up having to go on the run with Langdon when he it turns out he’s been framed for a crime that he didn’t commit (not willingly, anyway) – with their only hope being to follow a trail of clues (one specifically left for Langdon) that revolve around Dante’s Inferno… and suggest that a deadly human-made virus will soon be unleashed on the world, unless the pair can solve this mystery in time to stop it.
It’s probably fair to assume that Inferno won’t be your cup of tea if Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons weren’t either, seeing as the main players on Inferno also worked on the previous film adaptations of Brown’s novels – themselves, popular for being pulpy and far-fetched, yet entertaining page-turning mystery/thrillers loaded with interesting pieces of historical culture trivia (and/or conspiracy theories). Howard and his creative collaborators do appear to have further refined their Dan Brown movie “formula” with Inferno – so if you did enjoy the previous Robert Langdon films for what they are, odd are you will enjoy Inferno well enough too.
That being said, eight years between installments is a long time for movie franchises nowadays, so it remains to be seen how much interest there is among mainstream audiences for Inferno – not least of all, now that Brown’s literature in general has waned in popularity from its heyday in the early/mid-2000s. Howard’s first two Robert Langdon movies’ international box office performances far outstripped their U.S. takes and that ought to remain the case with Inferno too – all the more so since the movie boasts an impressive cast of non-American acting talent, similar to its predecessors.
Case in point: in addition to Jones (The Theory of Everything), the Inferno ensemble includes Omar Sy (Jurassic World), Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Siddle Babett Knudsen (Borgen), and Ana Ularu (Serena). Meanwhile, representing Team USA are Hanks, as well as Ben Foster (Warcraft) and Jon Donahue (Bridge of Spies) in key supporting roles.
Inferno opens in U.S. theaters on October 28th, 2016.
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment