The Robert Langdon franchise has long been one of the stranger ones in Hollywood. Based on a series of novels by Dan Brown (about symbolist Robert Langdon) that have always sold a ton of copies but never gotten much critical respect, the films (2006’s The Da Vinci Code and 2009’s Angels & Demons), combine action and chase scenes with academic and theological talk, as well as villains always connected in some way with the Catholic Church. Supporting casts and female leads differ, but the constants are always the Brown source material, star Tom Hanks, and director Ron Howard.
With the exception of his voice work in the Toy Story movies, the Robert Langdon series is the only multi-film franchise that Hanks has ever been a part of in his long career. And now, Hanks and Howard are both coming back for a third installment in the series, Inferno, set for release this fall.
Sony Entertainment, in order to start building hype for Inferno, has released a pair of posters for the film. The first of them (which is intended for the U.K.) appears to show Hanks and his female costar in the film, Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), running through what looks like a church:
Meanwhile, the U.S. Inferno poster (see below) shows Hanks as Langdon in front of what looks like a spiraling staircase:
Inferno, which is arriving seven years after the last film in the series, looks to closely follow the formula of its predecessors, as indicated by the film's official synopsis:
When Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.
The Inferno cast also includes Omar Sy (Jurassic World), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) and Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi). David Koepp (who also penned Angels & Demons) is the screenwriter, and some Inferno set photos surfaced online back in 2015.
Is the world clambering for another Dan Brown/Robert Langdon movie? Well, the Da Vinci Code film adaptation made over $758 million worldwide in theaters and Angels & Demons netted $486 million around the globe too, although the noteworthy drop-off at the box office between installments may have something to do with why it took this long for a third outing with Langdon to make it to the big screen.
On the other hand, critics were generally not kind to either of the previous Robert Langdon adventures - and while Brown continues to sell books, he’s not quite the literary sensation he was a decade ago, when The Da Vinci Code was still one of the hottest pop literary works around. There's fair reason to doubt that either The Da Vinci Code or Angels & Demons are many people's favorite Tom Hanks and/or Ron Howard movie, but who knows; maybe the extended break between installments will allow the next Robert Langdon film to feel like a fresh change of pace from the other mainstream movie offerings that are being made nowadays.
Inferno will open in U.S. theaters on October 28th, 2016; it will arrive two weeks earlier in the U.K., on October 14th.
Source: Sony Entertainment