Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pinewood Shepperton

From Film studio Pinewood Shepperton warned today that uncertainty over tax breaks for the movie industry could scare off overseas producers. Shooting has begun on The Da Vinci Code and Basic Instinct II - but Pinewood said these were the only major Hollywood productions to opt for the UK. The company said it was putting investment in its site on hold until normal trading returned and the Government's tax policy was clear.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sir Ian to Tighten Belt for Da Vinci Code Role

Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen is shedding extra pounds for his next film role. The former Bolton School pupil is starring in the film version of the hit novel the Da Vinci Code. And the actor has gone on a diet before filming begins. Actor Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard are reuniting for the movie, an adaptation of the international best-selling novel by Dan Brown. [More]

Masonic content of Dan Brown's new novel

On occasion, Dan Brown has let slip a clue or two about his next novel. There are clues about "the widow's son" and other hidden codes on the dust jacket of Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. In an appearance last year, Brown said the new novel will take place in Washington and will center on the fraternal order of Freemasons. And that the city's architecture will play a major role.
advertisement To find out what some of the Washington scenes might be, I launched a treasure hunt--a preview, if you will, of possible elements in the book that will be called The Solomon Key. The list of Masonic buildings starts with the House of the Temple at 1733 16th Street NW, about 13 blocks north of the White House. This is the home of the Supreme Council 33° of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. [More]

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Rosslyn gets police guard for filming

A police guard has been ordered for Rosslyn Chapel amid fears that religious protests could disrupt filming of Dan Brown's best-selling book The Da Vinci Code. Filming will begin at the 15th-century chapel, six miles south of Edinburgh, at the end of next month. But following protests at earlier shoots at Lincoln Cathedral, the production company contacted the police to try to avoid any disturbance during the four days of filming. Last night a spokesman for Lothian and Borders police said: "As a result of the filming at Rosslyn Chapel we've been in discussions with the production company and we've agreed that there will be a police presence during filming at Rosslyn as a precaution." [More]

Saturday, August 27, 2005

McKellen Article in the Times

In a narrow street beside the great river called Thames lived a grey-bearded man from the North Country. His name was Sir Ian but his powers of transformation were so extraordinary that he was rumoured to be a wizard. Some swore that he was none other than Gandalf, from the highest reaches of the Council of Elrond. Others called him McKellen and claimed he was the best Macbeth they had seen. He had lived in Narrow Street for a quarter of a century, during a time of great change in the region known as Limehouse, dangerously close to the influence of the Dark Doctor, David Owen, and the inferior wizard Steven Berkoff. In the fifth year of the New Millennium there were sightings of him in a fabled street of the Industrial North, where he briefly went by the name of Mel Hutchwright. [More]

Friday, August 26, 2005

Of Friction and 'The Da Vinci Code'

The Da Vinci Code, the best selling novel and soon-to-be-blockbuster film, may also be linked some day to the solving of a scientific mystery as old as Leonardo Da Vinci himself — friction. A collaboration of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University have used Da Vinci's principles of friction and the geometric oddities known as quasicrystals to open a new pathway towards a better understanding of friction at the atomic level. [More]

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Actor Hanks voted in by Academy

Actor Tom Hanks has been voted in as vice-president of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. The two-time Oscar winner and film director will serve the organisation that controls the Oscars. The Academy elected Sid Ganis as new president, replacing Frank Pierson, who served a maximum four one-year terms. [More]

Book signed by Da Vinci stars

A copy of The Da Vinci Code book, signed by the stars of the film version while they were in Lincoln last week, is to go on sale for charity. It has the autographs of Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen and director Ron Howard, plus other cast and production crew. The pages are littered with comments and notes about the film direction. [More]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New Images of Hanks, McKellen & Reno

Various images have popped up online from the set of 'The Da Vinci Code', most notably a first look at Jean Reno on set, as well as Ian McKellen and Tom Hanks. The cast and crew are currently at the Lincoln Cathedral, in Lincoln, England. Filming scenes from the third act of the book. Take a look at the rest in our 'Images' section. [More]

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fairfield cracks the Da Vinci code

Hollywood star Tom Hanks could be heading for Croydon after it emerged that makers of the Da Vinci Code movie are in talks with the Fairfield. The company behind what is expected to be one of the biggest movies of the year has approached the arts complex as well as the Croydon Film Commission about shooting scenes in Croydon during October. The commission says the crew would be here for at least a week. [More]

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Christian Groups Wary of 'Da Vinci Code' Movie

Aug. 19, 2005 — Filming of "The Da Vinci Code," starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou, is well under way all across Europe — but not all the attention is from paparazzi and fans. In England this week, Sister Mary Michael, a 61-year-old Roman Catholic nun, prayed for 12 hours in protest outside historic Lincoln Cathedral. That's where Hanks and director Ron Howard were shooting the adaptation of a novel whose plot questions much of Christian theology, proposing that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child. "When I die," Sister Mary Michael said, "and I have to stand before almighty God — as everyone else will, whether they believe it or not — and he says to me, 'What have you done to defend me?' I can say, 'Well, I tried to come forward at Lincoln Cathedral.' " [More]

Friday, August 19, 2005

Set Images from The Da Vinci Code

More images from the Da Vinci Code set can be seen in our 'Images' section, take a look! [More]

Da Vinci Code Report!

Milady writes: Filming has been taking place in Lincoln, England all this week of scenes from The Da Vinci Code, with Lincoln Cathedral being used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey. Our local evening newspaper, The Lincolnshire Echo, has mentioned amongst the articles it has run on the subject that:

The cast are staying at The White Hart Hotel, a stones throw away from the minster, and Sir Ian McKellen ...paused for a few moments to talk with movie fans and sign a few autographs. The Lord of the Rings star said that it was the first time he has ever been to Lincoln and was hoping he would have a few moments spare during filming to take a look around. "I've never been to Lincoln before and very nice it is too," he said. "I only arrived last night (Monday) so I've not yet had the chance to look around, but I am here all week."

Fans have only seen glimpses of their hero (Tom Hanks) as he steps from his blacked-out Range Rover into the hotel. Audrey Tautou, star of the hit film Amelie, has been even more elusive, leaving the Cathedral with a blanket over her head to avoid the waiting paparazzi. But the film's director Ron Howard and actor Sir Ian McKellan (sic) have walked openly in Lincoln - strolling to the film set, stopping to chat with fans.

So, as Wednesday dawned bright and fair, a good day for walking to the Cathedral we, myself and the Aged P, decided to go along and hope to see Sir Ian. Imagine our excitement upon approaching The White Hart Hotel and noticing quite a large crowd gathered outside, eek, something must be happening... Wormed our way through the throng, which made way very politely for an old lady pushing a wheelchair, until we were stationed directly in front of the main entrance. There was quite a bit of activity going on inside, hotel staff walking backwards and forwards, the odd amused hotel guest making a break for it and a couple of burly chaps flaunting CREW badges carrying things to a couple of large, dark coloured people carriers parked alongside the hotel. Every time they came out the expectant crowd held its breath, only to let it out again in a collective sigh when no actors made an appearance. One guest even stopped to tell those within hearing distance that we were wasting our time, all the stars had long since gone to the Cathedral, but, ha, we weren't having none of it. There wouldn't be this large crowd just standing around like lemons for the sake of it. Would there?

After an hour of this one bold lady broke from the crowd and - went INSIDE the Hotel. We held our breath. (Again) (We were getting good at that) She came out a couple of minutes later with a long face. "It is true, everyone has already left and are within the Cathedral." The disappointment was huge, the whole of the minster was out of bounds so we would not get to see our favourite actors until returning much later once filming had ceased for the day. It was amazing how the crowd dispersed within a short space of time, many going off into the Minster Yard to see if, by chance, there was anything interesting there, but apart from a very eloquent, Scottish minister preaching hellfire and brimstone regarding our idolatry and the heresy of the Da Vinci Code book, we drew a blank.

The experience was enjoyable, non-event that it was, and on the way back home I did leave a box of toffees at the White Hart's reception desk for Sir Ian, which I do hope they passed on to him.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New Da Vinci Code Set Images has posted some images from the Lincoln Cathedral set in the UK. There isn't much action but as you can guess the entire cathedral has been taken over by the production for the shoot. [More]

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Da Vinci cast appear in public

Top names behind the Da Vinci Code movie being filmed in Lincoln have finally appeared before the media. Director Ron Howard strolled through Lincoln followed by cameramen. He told the BBC that the city was "beautiful, absolutely gorgeous and friendly". He walked to Lincoln Cathedral, while Tom Hanks left for a car ride to work. Mr Hanks signed the plaster cast of fan Ryan Beaumont, who had broken his arm. Asked for his view of the city, the star said: "Lovely town, nice people". [More]

'Da Vinci Code' filming draws controversy

Westminster Abbey said no, but Lincoln Cathedral was happy to oblige as was a small Scottish chapel. British churches are divided over whether to allow filming of "The Da Vinci Code," an adaptation of Dan Brown's biblically revisionist megaseller. The novel has drawn strong protests from the Roman Catholic Church, and the movie version has fanned whispers of discontent in Lincoln, where Tom Hanks and the crew were filming Tuesday. [More]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nun protests on 'Da Vinci Code' film set

LONDON (AFP) - A Roman Catholic nun staged an protest outside an English cathedral where "The Da Vinci Code" is being made into a movie -- even though she had not read Dan Brown's best-seller. Sister Mary Michael, 61, prayed for 12 hours on Monday outside Lincoln Cathedral in the east of England where scenes from the forthcoming Tom Hanks blockbuster, directed by Ron Howard, are being shot this week. She admitted Tuesday that she had not read the book, but had heard enough about it to be spurred into action. [More]

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Jürgen Prochnow Cast in 'Da Vinci Code'?

IMDB has yet another actor on 'The Da Vinci Code' listing. Character actor Jürgen Prochnow may have been cast in an unknown role. Born in 1941, in Berlin Prochnow has been a leading man and character actor of the German Stage and screen. Later he also starred in Hollywood films. He was memorable as the submarine captain in "Das Boot" (1981). He can also be seen in other films like "Wing Commander" (1999), "The Replacement Killers" (1998), "Air Force One" (1997), "The English Patient" (1996), "Judge Dredd" (1995) & "Dune' (1984).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Da Vinci gamble

Take a best-selling novel, throw in Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard and you have a Hollywood blockbuster, right? Probably. But because the novel is "The Da Vinci Code," the path to box-office success is far more complicated. In May 2006, Sony Pictures will release the big-screen version of Dan Brown's mega-best-seller. Since it was published in 2003, "Da Vinci" has captivated readers - and exasperated Christians - with its core contention: That Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene, and the Church conspired to keep women out of power. [More]

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Who is Seth Gabel?

IMDB is now reporting that young American actor Seth Gabel will have a part in Ron Howard's 'The Da Vinci Code' film. At this time it is not known if this news is true, and if it is what role Gabel will be playing. Seth was born in Hollywood, Florida on October 3rd, 1981. He has had small roles on television in shows like "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "Nip/Tuck" & "Sex and the City". He is currently working on another film at the moment playing 'Kevin' in "Running with Scissors" along side an all star cast of Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes and others. He is represented by Joel Lubin of the CAA. [Discuss]

McKellen slams Church's stance on Da Vinci Code

British actor Ian McKellen has slammed the leaders of the Catholic Church for urging people not to read Dan Brown's controversial novel The Da Vinci Code. While the book has proved hugely popular internationally, the Vatican's reaction to the way its religion is depicted by Brown has been far from positive. But McKellen, who recently finished filming a movie version of the book with Tom Hanks, brands the church's stance against the novel "pathetic". [More] [Discuss]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bestseller's movie woes

It is a publishing phenomenon that has sparked controversy. Now the film version of The Da Vinci Code is attempting to reduce the offence caused to Catholics. Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film, which stars Tom Hanks and Ian McKellen, is reported to have been so concerned about offending the devout that it has consulted Catholic and other Christian specialists on how it might alter the plot of the novel. Film officials have held talks with Catholic groups and other organisations, despite author Dan Brown insisting that "it's only a novel and therefore a work of fiction". [More] [Discuss]

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Merchant moves from Venice to Vegas

Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, two of Britain's greatest Shakespearean actors, are to star in a film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice set in modern-day Las Vegas. The new £20 million movie will shift the action of the Bard's 1596 play from medieval Italy to the flamboyant Venetian Resort, Hotel and Casino in the heart of the Nevada desert. [More]

Da Vinci Code effect 'could spell disaster' for Rosslyn

Record crowds of tourists being drawn to Rosslyn chapel by the incredible success of the bestseller The Da Vinci Code could "spell the end" of the historic building, a former curator has warned. Judith Fisken, curator of the 15th century chapel from 1981 to 1996, warned that interest generated by the Dan Brown novel, coupled with a forthcoming Hollywood movie of the book starring Tom Hanks, would lead to unmanageable numbers of people packing into the building. [More] [Discuss]

Decoding the 'Da Vinci' movie

By Sharon Waxman (The New York Times): LOS ANGELES - On the face of it, Hollywood projects don't get much simpler than "The Da Vinci Code," a movie being shot in Europe this summer, based on the international publishing phenomenon by Dan Brown. All the ingredients are there: a blockbuster book with 36 million copies in print, an Academy Award-winning team in the writer Akiva Goldsman and the director Ron Howard (for "A Beautiful Mind"), and an Oscar perennial, Tom Hanks, in the lead, as the Harvard professor Robert Langdon. [More] [Discuss]

Saturday, August 06, 2005

'Da Vinci Code' author wins copyright case

NEW YORK (AP) -- The best-selling thriller "The Da Vinci Code" does not infringe on the copyrights of a book published in 2000 by another author, a judge ruled. U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels said Dan Brown's book exploring codes hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci's artwork is not substantially similar to "Daughter of God," by Lewis Perdue. Brown's book "is simply a different story," Daniels said. [More] [Discuss]

Buy 'Daughter of God' by Lewis Perdue on

'Da Vinci' film: What role for religion?

Los Angeles: On the face of it, Hollywood projects don't get much simpler than "The Da Vinci Code," a movie being shot in Europe this summer, based on the international publishing phenomenon by Dan Brown. All the ingredients are there: a blockbuster book with 36 million copies in print, an Academy Award-winning team in the writer Akiva Goldsman and the director Ron Howard (for "A Beautiful Mind"), and an Oscar perennial, Tom Hanks, in the lead, as the Harvard professor Robert Langdon. Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film, would seem well on its way to that rarest of successes: an adult-oriented film with a built-in audience. [More] [Discuss]

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nobody Wants to Be in Tom Hanks Movie

The makers of the Hollywood blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" are looking for a bunch of nobodies to appear in the Tom Hanks movie, but nobody wants to be in it. They would be fed and paid for their time, but according to, in association with the Lincolnshire Echo, London-based casting company Mad Dog claims it has a serious shortage of local men over 40 who want to appear as extras in the thriller, which is based on the best-selling book. They are calling on Lincolnshire men to embrace their mid-life crisis and mingle with the film's glittering array of stars. The successful candidates will get to rub shoulders with the likes of double Oscar-winner Hanks, French actress Audrey Tautou, star of the hit film "Amelie," and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard. [More] [Discuss]

Da Vinci Code boost for Winchster Cathedral

The Hampshire cathedral is the latest British tourist attraction set to receive a massive income boost from the filming of Dan Brown`s novel starring Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen and French actress Audrey Tautou. Lincoln Cathedral is expected to earn about £100,000 from allowing the film crews through its doors once the production shifts from Scotland. Trustees at Rosslyn Chapel, near Rosewell in Midlothian, stand to make a similar sum from location fees, and Winchester Cathedral should also earn substantial fees. The Chapter of Winchester also hopes that, by agreeing to the filming in the north transept, it will attract further tourists to the city. [More] [Discuss]

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Da Vinci Code? It's all academic now

Hailed as a gripping page-turner and derided in turn as trashy fiction based on mumbo-jumbo, The Da Vinci Code is now to become the subject of a course at Trinity College Dublin. In a move sure to delight many fans, a series of evening classes will explore the novel's claim that Jesus Christ fathered a child. Academics behind the course, which will begin in January, hope that participants will come away with a better appreciation of the use and spread of Christianity, minus the fictional elements of the book. [More] [Discuss]