For those who are currently too young to remember, or for those who’ve simply forgotten, there was a time when Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code was the literary equivalent (in terms of hype, at least) as was/is E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
Brown’s 2003 novel followed symbologist Robert Langdon as he worked to solve murders linked to rival Catholic sects and their oppositional views regarding the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. As is the case with any highly popular novel, The Da Vinci Code was adapted to the big screen and in 2006 it went on to become quite the box office hit.
Starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon and directed by Ron Howard (In the Heart of the Sea), the film’s success prompted a sequel, which was adapted from Brown’s first novel in the Langdon series, Angels & Demons. Once again both Hanks and Howard returned, but this time around ticket sales were lukewarm. By 2013, Brown had written a new novel in the series entitled Inferno and now, new images have assured fans that Tom Hanks will indeed return for a third outing as Robert Langdon in the big screen version of Inferno.
Also back on board is director Ron Howard, with a script by David Koepp (who recently signed on to write the Universal reboot of The Bride of Frankenstein). The film follows Langdon as he awakens in an Italian hospital with amnesia. Pairing up with Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) as Dr. Sienna Brooks, the pair struggle to unravel the mystery of a mad scientist and crazed fanatic of legendary Middle Ages poet Dante Alighieri, before a sinister plot is unleashed.
In addition to Hanks and Jones, the cast will also feature Irrfan Kahn (Jurassic World), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) and Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld). You can check out images of these actors in Inferno, below (h/t Indiewire):
Given that 2009’s Angels & Demons failed to hit its mark, Inferno has perhaps the largest amount of pressure riding on it out of all the Robert Langdon films thus far. The Da Vinci Code came out of a time when the novel was something of a pop cultural phenomenon and as such, was practically guaranteed to be a hit at the cinema. By the time Angels & Demons arrived, demand had cooled somewhat and this undoubtedly had an effect on the film’s box office numbers. Now that new life is being breathed into the series once more, it remains to be seen if Inferno can even approach the box office heights of either Robert Langdon adventure before it - no small feat, to say the least.
Still, don’t count this one out just yet; Inferno topped the New York Times bestseller list for the first eight weeks of its release, proving that there’s still a great demand for Robert Langdon. Interest like that could very easily translate into big box office returns when Inferno hits theaters next fall.
Inferno opens in U.S. theaters on October 28th, 2016.