FACTBOX-New Dan Brown story hits cinema screens

Fri May 1, 2009 8:06am BST

May 1 (Reuters) - A movie based on "Angels & Demons" by bestselling U.S. author Dan Brown will be released in cinemas worldwide in mid-May, and again stars Tom Hanks as Professor Robert Langdon.

Here are some key facts about the author:

-- "The Da Vinci Code" has sold more than 70 million copies since its 2003 release and topped best-seller lists worldwide. It also outraged the Vatican and some Catholics because of its fictional story lines about conspiracy and the Catholic Church.

-- Tom Hanks played Langdon in the 2006 film of "The Da Vinci Code," and it earned more than $750 million at the box office worldwide despite the religious controversy and poor reviews.

-- Dan Brown, born in June 1964, grew up in New Hampshire and in 1986 he graduated from Amherst (Mass.) College. His first novel, "Digital Fortress" (1998) centred on clandestine organizations and code breaking and it became a model for his later works.

-- His next novel was "Angels & Demons" (2000), where he introduced Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of symbology. The movie adaptation has so far attracted less criticism from Catholics, although the Rome archdiocese did decline its makers the right to shoot in historic churches, forcing them to recreate them in Los Angeles.

- After his third novel, "Deception Point" (2001), Brown returned to Langdon with "The Da Vinci Code" which became one of the fastest selling books of all time.

-- Brown and his publishers won a 2006 copyright infringement case and a 2007 appeal against Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, two of the three authors of "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" who claimed the novelist stole their ideas.

-- "The Lost Symbol", Brown's follow-up to the "The Da Vinci Code", will be released in the United States, Britain and Canada on Sept. 15, his publisher Random House said earlier this month. Sources: Reuters/www.britannica.com (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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