Dan Brown Rewriting ‘The Lost Symbol’ Script; Will Hanks & Howard Return?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

Way back in February of this year we reported that Steven Knight had been hired to write the screenplay for The Lost Symbol, the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name. Knight is probably best known for writing the gangster drama Eastern Promises but has also written the likes of Dirty Pretty Things and Amazing Grace.

However, fast-forward 10 months and it appears Columbia Pictures has decided to hand scriptwriting duties over to none other than the author of The Lost Symbol himself, Dan Brown.

Risky Business has the exclusive on Brown taking on The Lost Symbol screenplay but there’s no mention of why the studio isn’t going with Knight’s draft. It seems strange since Knight has a fair bit of experience in scriptwriting, particularly winning praise for his uncompromising and compelling Eastern Promises screenplay. Whereas this will mark the first time Brown has tried his hand at scriptwriting.

Perhaps Brown wants to ensure that The Lost Symbol movie ends up as faithful to his novel as possible and what better way to make sure of that than to write the adaptation himself?

The Lost Symbol sees the hero of Brown’s literary franchise, Robert Langdon, back to solve more deep-rooted mysteries – this time he’s in Washington, D.C. trying to decode the symbols of the Freemasons. The book was an instant best-seller, selling a whopping million+ copies on its first day alone (yowza!).

Tom Hanks played Langdon in both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons but fans of the franchise shouldn’t get their hopes up quite yet as Risky Business also reports that Hanks isn’t confirmed to reprise his role, nor is Ron Howard (director of both Da Vinci and Angels) confirmed to direct the third film. However, the latter is still producing alongside Brian Grazer through their Imagine Entertainment company.

Hanks isn’t exactly hurting for work and Howard has that massive Dark Tower film and TV adaptation to tackle. Nonetheless I would be surprised if both of them didn’t come back to the franchise for one more installment – I suspect Columbia will throw big paychecks their way to convince them to return (this IS Hollywood we’re talking about after all).

Even if Hanks and Howard don’t return to star and direct, respectively, you can still expect to see The Lost Symbol in theaters fairly soon (in movie terms). Together The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons made the studio a whopping $1.24 billion worldwide and combine that with the popularity of The Lost Symbol novel and the movie version is pretty much a surefire moneymaker.

There’s no official release date set for The Lost Symbol yet but there’s speculation of a summer 2013 release, meaning the film would skip the madness of summer 2011-2012.

Source: Risky Business

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  2. I was not a fan of Hanks in his role.

    Reading the books I always pictured him as sort of like a smarter, older version of matthew McConaughey.

    I don’t know which actor would be good to convey that sense of you can see the character thinking and processing the info, but Hanks seemed like more of a set piece in the past two movies than a thinker.

    • I always thought it was a shame they never made a sequel to Sahara, McConaughey was really good as Dirk Pitt, i liked the old fashioned James Bond vibe from it and there are so many of those books to adapt.

      • More Clive Cussler novels need to be put onto the big screen. They sure are fun to read!!

        I love Tom Hanks, but I never really saw him in my mind’s eye as Langdon either. Angels and Demons was a much better movie than The DaVinci Code, IMO, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Langdon character was recast. As long as it wasn’t Sam Worthington or Shia LeBeouf…

  3. Despite the truly ridiculous ending Angels and Demons was a far more entertaining watch than Da Vinci Code.

    • I agree. The Da Vinci Code was an overly long bore, but I actually found some entertainment value in Angels & Demons. It’s not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination but decent enough for a watch – I’ll probably never revisit it though :P .

  4. The Lost Symbol is in a way the most and least cinematic of the books, the chases across the city and the villains backstory are cool but the science stuff is mind numbingly stupid.
    Hanks will return without a doubt, and I think Howard will as well, expect to see this in 2012.
    Angels And Demons is the best book and will probably be considered the best film.

  5. I hope Dan Brown didn’t change anything about Moloch. Just keep him exactly like he was in the book.

  6. tom hanks will return for sure, he said during angels and demons “he would be crazy to give the role up” which is true, he’s on the other side of the hill now, this role is perfect for him, its an iconic role similar to indiana jones… ps- Da vinci code 5 times better then avatar

  7. If you ask me this kind of stuff falls almost into the catagory of alternate history. Give me Chabon or Turtledove’s work any day…

  8. I don’t think the films did the books justice and I don’t think anyone who read those books imagined Tom Hanks in the role. I’d ditch Ron Howard for Doug Liman to if possible (Bourne identity). It should have the energy of an action film but the amount of history/science may have to be reconsidered to make the film flow properly.
    I’ve read all of his books (well there’s only 5 that I know of) and They ARE a bit trashy, a bit of a guilty pleasure, but they made alot of people start reading novels again and I enjoyed the ride. It reminds you that there is usually two (or more) versions of history and you shouldn’t believe everything that you’re taught in school or hear on the TV. Conspiricy has become a dirty word but alot of information we get is controlled, edited, filtered or alterered to suit powerful groups of people so I’m all for throwing a spanner in the works.
    Who would play Langdon though? Jeremy Irons (if he’s in shape) or Tim Robins maybe?
    It would be great if the films could be BETTER than the book for once :-)

  9. Tom hanks will come back,and so will Ron Howard people seem to forget that they talked about it while the due oppeared on Larry king after angels & demons came out. They’re both gonna do it, killer books, amazing movies. No worries all- just patience and I’ll be out and it’ll be epic.

  10. Among the main characters, the lone Asian person, Director Inoue Sato of the CIA is portrayed as a smart, efficient, tough but an unattractive woman. She’s described as being short and small, chain-smoking that manifests into her yellow teeth and foul breath, unsociable, unsympathetic, heavy handed and threatening when dealing with subordinates and the public using bad language (swearing)…etc…

    In one swoop, Dan Brown provides a stereotypical image of a repulsive female and Asian in a position of authority, even if she’s a good guy. The only other repulsive main character in the novel is the villain himself, the demonic Mal’akh.

    But Mr. Brown can certainly redeem himself to his Asian and/or female audience by rewriting the character of Inoue Sato for the movie. She can be tough and no-nonsense but she doesn’t have to be physically unattractive or having bad manners. A senior CIA official will not swear in front of the public while chain smoking, even if that official were a male.

    Casting someone like Michelle Yeoh in the role would be a good move. As demonstrated by her performance in Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ms. Yeoh can be tough and feminine at the same time. And she’s not a midget either!

    • I thought as I read Lost Symbol that Linda Hunt would be a perfect Ms. Sato and Morgan Freeman for The Archatect!

  11. Well books normally are better than movies anyway. You can’t capture the imagination and thrill in a movie as well as a book because then the movie would be way to long. There is just no comparison between books becoming movies and the actual books its self

  12. Please! If there is even the slightest chance the lovely Lisa Edelstein might read this: please, let it be! I want to start a petition-esque movement to have Lisa Edelstein cast as Katherine Solomon in the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”! Anyone who read the description of the Katherine character cannot deny that it was essentially Lisa word for word! Please, my fellow fans: back me up!!!

  13. The lost symbol was a lot better then I thought is was gonna be cosidering there wasn’t a religious aspect as large as the other book. I the movie should keep the villian exactly how he is in the book, they really toned down the villian in angels demons which kind of alway from the movie. I think out of all the books the villian in the lost symbol was the most detailed and pretty much bad ass

  14. The lost symbol was a lot better then I thought is was gonna be cosidering there wasn’t a religious aspect as large as the other book. I the movie should keep the villian exactly how he is in the book, they really toned down the villian in angels demons which kind of alway from the movie. I think out of all the books the villian in the lost symbol was the most detailed and pretty much the best villian out all the books.

  15. The Lost Symbol was an absolutely amazing book, I’ve read it twice and am excited to see it on the big screen. Here’s hoping Hanks returns to reprise his role as Langdon and Howard returns as well! Cheers!

  16. The Lost Symbol was an absolutely amazing book, I’ve read it twice and am excited to see it on the big screen. Here’s hoping for a great screenplay! Cheers!

  17. I have always said especially after reading The Da Vinci Code that
    Nick Nolte would have been perfect as Robert Langdon !!!!

  18. does anyone know what is going on with making of the lost symbol i throught it was going out last year

  19. When will the lost symbol be released I just finnished reading inferno must say all the books are great the movies more of a help guide for me to show me the places I can’t go and visit myself gives Mr a better perspective of what I was reading

    • Maybe films are useful to see the places you cant go but you must really think about to visit İstanbul some day :) you wont regret I assure..

  20. So when is the movie coming, been waiting a while now. Or has it been canned?

  21. I think the new book will be soon on screen. I really want to see Russel Crowe as Prof Langdon. Carey Mulligan as Sienna, Meryl Streep as Sinskey maybe… :)

  22. They should keep howard as far away as possible from all novel adapted screen plays after the way angels and demons was destroyed- the novel.