After directing the first two films based on Dan Brown’s novels, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Ron Howard has decided that he’ll only be producing the third film, The Lost Symbol, and won’t be returning to direct, Deadline reports.
Howard directed the first two films to very impressive successes at the box office, turning a $125m. budget into $760m. on The Da Vinci Code and a $150m. budget into $485m. on Angels & Demons.
However, with The Lost Symbol bringing Robert Langdon back to the back screen, Howard felt that he didn’t want to do another film with a similar storyline and feel, and so is just going to be producing this one.
“Ron told Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton that he was not going to be directing Dan Brown’s novels anymore… He just didn’t want to do that thing over and over, the same character and the same stories.”
So now the search will be underway for Sony to find a new director to helm the third film in the series, which will see Robert Langdon (expected to have Tom Hanks reprising his role) in Washington, D.C. trying to save his mentor and uncovering the lost secrets of the Freemasons. The task is not an easy one, given the success of the first two films, so whoever takes the challenge on will certainly have much expected of them. The script was originally drafted by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises), but now Brown himself is working on the rewrite, which will be his first time writing for the big screen.
Howard recently had his ambitious Stephen King project, The Dark Tower, turned down by Universal Pictures, which passed on the opportunity to turn the seven novels into three films and two TV series, and left the project somewhat dead in the water. Ever the busy worker, however, Howard has since signed on to produce and direct Under the Banner of Heaven, and will be directing a live-action version of the comic strip, Spy vs. Spy, from Mad magazine. He is also set to direct Rush, the biopic of F1 racers Niki Lauda and James Hunt, and if/when the Arrested Development film comes to light, he’ll be producing that and no doubt narrating too, which is definitely something to look forward to.