Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Da Vinci Code author did not plagiarize - lawyer

LONDON (Reuters) - Author Dan Brown did not copy material from an earlier book when he wrote "The Da Vinci Code," his best-selling religious thriller at the center of a copyright case, a lawyer told London's High Court on Tuesday. With over 36 million copies of his novel in circulation and a major Hollywood adaptation due for release in May, the stakes are high in a case brought against Brown's British publishers by historians Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. In opening arguments for the defense, publisher Random House said that much of the "central theme" of "The Holy Blood, and the Holy Grail," which the authors say has been plagiarized, did not in fact appear in The Da Vinci Code. [More]

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Legal challenge set to delay Da Vinci Code movie

The big-screen adaptation of the best-selling book The Da Vinci Code, which features Midlothian's Rosslyn Chapel, is set to be delayed by a legal challenge. The film, which is directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard, is set to be released in Britain on May 19, but a copyright claim by the writers of a non-fiction book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, is due in the High Court in London next week. The £10 million claim by co-authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who wrote the book in 1984, is for breach of copyright on the grounds that the structure of their book was plagiarised by author Dan Brown for The Da Vinci Code. [More]

Order 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' on Amazon today! [CA] [UK]

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ian McKellen Makes Donmar Debut in Ravenhill’s The Cut Feb. 23

The Donmar Warehouse’s new season kicks off Feb. 23 with the world premiere of Mark Ravenhill’s The Cut, which marks the Donmar debut of Sir Ian McKellen. Directed by the theatre’s artistic director Michael Grandage, The Cut officially opens on Feb. 28. The play centers on Paul (McKellen) who, according to production notes, is a loving husband harboring a shocking secret. McKellen is joined by Deborah Findlay, who appeared in the National Theatre production of Ravenhill’s Mother Clap’s Molly House and was last seen at the Donmar in The Vortex, Grandage’s inaugural production for the theatre as artistic director. [More]

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Coalition of Catholics Offers Antidote to The Da Vinci Code

ENCINITAS, Calif., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Da Vinci Code, the Dan Brown novel and forthcoming (May 19th) Ron Howard/Tom Hanks motion picture, urges audiences in its marketing literature to "Seek the Truth." Ironically, the book begins with a list of "facts" that apparently neither the author nor the filmmakers ever actually fact-checked. "The Da Vinci Code is the epitome of the old saying that if you're going to tell a lie, make it a really big one. The book has wooed and intimidated more than 30 million readers by skillfully tapping into what many have identified as America's last acceptable prejudice - anti-Catholicism," stated Tom Allen, President & Editor-in-Chief, CatholicExchange.com. [More]

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Winchester Cathedral to start charging

WINCHESTER, England, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- England's Winchester Cathedral plans to cash in on its notoriety as one of the locations for the movie "The Da Vinci Code" by charging admission. The cathedral has been free for tourists, although donations were both accepted and encouraged. But many other historic houses of worship, including Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral, now charge. While tourists must pay 4 pounds (about $7), worshippers can still enter free. [More]

Code for a best seller

The Da Vinci Code has sold millions of copies around the world - and one Coventry author has penned a book with links to the bestseller. Former teacher Maxwell Field, aged 55, of Stoney Road, Cheylesmore, has just had his first book, The Carthusian Connection, published after 10 years of research. It goes back to the days of Mary Magdalene and early Christianity - similar to the period covered in Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. His novel has proved a phenomenon, selling millions of copies worldwide and topping the bestseller lists for weeks. The book is now being made into a Hollywood film starring Tom Hanks. [More]

From bad to worse for Bettany

In Firewall, Paul Bettany plays a ruthless creep who kidnaps a man's wife and children to make some fast cash. Turns out the guy is just a warm-up for Bettany's murderous henchman in one of the year's most eagerly anticipated movies, Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, set to open in May. "I would call the man I play in Firewall a businessman, a mercenary," Bettany explains. "Whereas, Silas, in Da Vinci Code is psychotic, an incredibly damaged individual whose anger and fury at the world are harnessed to do some rather dastardly murders." [More]

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pushing 'Da Vinci' to nullify it

As a conservative evangelical leader, Josh McDowell is one of the last people you'd expect to urge young Christians to see The Da Vinci Code, the upcoming movie based on the phenomenally best-selling novel. After all, the book argues that Jesus sired a line of royalty before he died on the cross -- Mary Magdalene being pregnant with his child -- and that all of it was covered up by religious leaders through the centuries. But McDowell, author of The Da Vinci Code -- A Quest for Truth, not only urges a trip to the theater, but also advises everybody to read the novel. [More]


New York -- Opus Dei, the secretive conservative arm of the Catholic Church, isn't the only special-interest group with its robes in a knot over the upcoming feature-film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, which opens May 19. Albinos are none too happy with the thriller, either. As tens of millions of readers around the world already know -- spoiler alert! -- the most unsettling character in the Dan Brown page-turner is Silas, a self-flagellating, devout albino monk who murders and menaces his way around Paris in what he believes is a bid to save the Catholic Church. [More]

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Catholics call for Da Vinci Code edit

Catholic group Opus Dei has called for "references that hurt Catholics" to be cut from the film adaptation of Dan Brown's hit novel The Da Vinci Code. The group, which formed in 1928, insists it will not request a boycott of the film, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, despite making their disapproval of the movie's message known. In a statement it says: "The Da Vinci Code offers a deformed image of the Catholic Church," drawing particular attention to Brown's suggestion that Jesus Christ fathered a child. [More]

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ian McKellen doubts 'Brokeback' effect for gay actors

BERLIN (AFP) - British actor and gay activist Ian McKellen accepted a Golden Bear lifetime achievement award at the Berlin Film Festival and said he was still a rare exception as an openly homosexual star. McKellen, 66, said that while the success of the Oscar-nominated gay cowboy movie "Brokeback Mountain" might open the door to more pictures on the subject of homosexuality, the industry had rigid ideas about leading men. "It is very, very, very difficult for an American actor who wants a film career to be open about his sexuality. And even more difficult for a woman if she's lesbian. It's very distressing to me that that should be the case," he told a news conference. [More]

Bettany's Killer Instinct

Hollywood -- Paul Bettany is best known to American moviegoers as Russell Crowe's best friend. He played the Australian actor's imaginary Princeton classmate in "A Beautiful Mind" and appeared two years later as Capt. Crowe's sensitive ship surgeon in "Master and Commander." In his new film, "Firewall," the 34-year-old English actor tries on a different persona: Harrison Ford's tormentor. [More]

Saturday, February 11, 2006

TV Watch: Paul Bettany on 'Conan' Link

Paul Bettany was recently on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' to promote his latest film 'Firewall'. They didn't talk about 'The Da Vinci Code' but they did goof on Bettany and his wife actress Jennifer Connelly, they featured an odd looking creature as their child in 'If They Mated'. Bettany also revealed how Connelly's cousin's showed some serious geek cred at the 'Firewall' after-party. Apparently they stood behind Harrison Ford all night with a Chewbacca PEZ making Chewbacca-like noises...classic. [More]

Access Hollywood 'Da Vinci' Clip!

Access Hollywood aired a small segment on 'The Da Vinci Code', it featured Ron Howard in the editing room and a small clip of the film itself! [More]

The PR code

The entrance to the national headquarters of the Roman Catholic group Opus Dei is the last place you would expect to find mention of "The Da Vinci Code." The conservative organization has spent the last few years trying to escape the best-seller's shadow, after the novel portrayed Opus Dei as a murderous sect fixated on power and self-mutilation. [More]

Sony sets up site for 'Da Vinci Code' critics

LOS ANGELES -- Sony Pictures created a Web site for Christian critics of "The Da Vinci Code" to explain their views on the upcoming movie adaptation of the Dan Brown novel. Although the film doesn't come out until May 19, thedavincichallenge.com went online Thursday, the New York Times reported. The site features essays written by "Code" critics such as Gordon Robertson, the son of TV evangelist Pat Robertson and co-host of "The 700 Club." About 45 Christian writers and leaders are being given the chance to argue the book's theological and historical representations. [More]

'Da Vinci Code' Game Images

From UGO.com: Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code is getting the four-star multimedia treatment this summer. It's getting a movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, and it's also getting a video game from 2K Games. The player assumes the role of the title character, Robert Langdon, as he rushes all around Europe in search of clues to solve a grizzly murder. Langdon is hunted by the authorities and a mysterious Christian cult. As the clues reveal themselves, Leonardo Da Vinci's secrets are unlocked. [More]

'Da Vinci Code' Stars Break Code Of Silence On Mysterious Movie

With just about three months to go before the secrets of "The Da Vinci Code" are unlocked in theaters, rabid fans are still clamoring for revelations regarding the transition of the bestselling book to the big screen. With cast and crew under strict confidentiality agreements, details on the flick have been few and far between. But with two of its key players — Paul Bettany ("A Beautiful Mind") and French thespian Jean Reno ("Hotel Rwanda") — out pushing other projects, a fresh batch of "Da Vinci" news has been trickling in. "It never felt like [we were making] a huge movie," Bettany admitted while promoting the Harrison Ford-starring "Firewall," out February 10. "It was often just me, [director] Ron [Howard] and the crew. [My character] was usually on my own or murdering somebody, so it felt very much like a tiny, intimate film." [More]

Friday, February 10, 2006

TV Watch: Paul Bettany on 'Conan O'Brien'

Paul Bettany is slated to be a guest on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien'. He is there to talk about his latest film 'Firewall' opening today (Feb 10th).

Thursday, February 09, 2006

TV Watch: Jean Reno on 'Late Late Show'

Jean Reno will be on 'The Late Late Show' tonight on CBS. He is there to promote his latest film 'The Pink Panther', however he may also talk about 'The Da Vinci Code'! The Late Late Show airs on CBS at 12:35AM. Stay tuned for the video!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

TV Watch: Bettany on 'Leno' Clip

Paul Bettany was on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' last week and I have finally found a place to dump the files online for you to watch. There is some small talk about 'The DaVinci Code', but they mainly talk about his latest film 'Firewall' Take a look! Click on the link and hit 'Play' [More]

Conservatives view Code movie as evangelical tool

As a conservative evangelical leader, Josh McDowell is one of the last people you'd expect to urge young Christians to see "The Da Vinci Code," the upcoming movie based on the phenomenally best-selling novel. After all, the book argues that Jesus sired a line of royalty before he died on the cross - Mary Magdalene being pregnant with his child - and that all of it was covered up by religious leaders through the centuries. But McDowell, author of "The Da Vinci Code - A Quest for Truth," not only urges a trip to the theater, but also advises everybody to read the novel. [More]

'Da Vinci Code' sparks Christian history discussion

With a stable spot for 149 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list and an impending movie release, "The Da Vinci Code" has students wondering what parts of the novel are fact and which are fiction. Mother Magdalena, from the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pa., will lead a discussion about the evidence supporting and disproving the claims in Dan Brown's popular novel. The Christian Study Center will host the event Thursday at 7:30 p.m. "I think it's a wonderful opportunity for us to explore our faith and learn things about it," Mother Magdalena said. [More]

Sunday, February 05, 2006

TV Watch: Paul Bettany on Ellen Link -UPDATE-

After some time in limbo I managed to get this link up for you guys. Here is Paul Bettany's appearance on 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' on February 2nd, 2006. They briefly mention 'The Da Vinci Code' but the short interview was mainly about 'Firewall'. Update This new link should work now, follow the link and click 'Play' [More]

Is Yale the key to new Brown blockbuster?

You can criticise his prose style and question his devotion to historical fact. But there is no doubt the author of the Da Vinci Code is fast becoming the biggest publishing sensation on the planet. Dan Brown's new work, The Solomon Key, is as much as a year away but it has created an industry of its own with no fewer than three books already published which promise to reveal the secrets of the novel. Another two will come out before The Solomon Key itself. Without Brown or his publishers even officially confirming the title of the novel, numerous claims have been made about its contents, including the suggestion that President George Bush and a Yale University society will feature. [More]

Forget The Da Vinci Code … carvings at Rosslyn reveal symphony for the devil

It has been the stuff of speculation, and even a Hollywood blockbuster, but one Scottish man believes he has uncovered the true secret of carvings in Rosslyn Chapel. Brian Allan, co-director of Scotland’s Paranormal Encounters Group (PEG), thinks researchers into the 15th-century chapel may have been working on the wrong frequency for years. Last year, Scottish composer Stuart Mitchell was hailed a “genius” when his research led to the unravelling of musical codes embodied in 213 stone cubes in the ceiling of the Midlothian chapel. The music, since transcribed and dubbed by Mitchell as The Rosslyn Canon Of Proportions, contained notation designed to be performed by mediaeval players and was described as “sounding like a nursery rhyme”. While admitting the cubes contained “a lot of symbolism and decoys to throw people off”, Mitchell has so far kept details of these close to his chest. [More]

Friday, February 03, 2006

Gervais turned down 'Da Vinci Code' part

Ricky Gervais has revealed that he turned down a part in The Da Vinci Code over fears of ruining the movie. "I was offered the part of the butler," the comedian told the Daily Mirror. "I told director Ron Howard 'I will ruin your film. The number of times I've sat down for a great film by a great director and a British actor pops up and ruins it for me - I don't want to be that bloke'." [More]

TV Watch: Bettany on 'Leno'

Paul Bettany will be a guest on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' on NBC tonight. He is there to promote his latest film 'Firewall' with Harrison Ford. The Tonight show airs on NBC at 11:35PM.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Opus Dei and the Da Vinci Code

In Channel 4's documentary on Opus Dei, Mark Dowd explores an organisation that, despite being hidden from public view, became notorious as the organ of the Catholic Church’s control in the controversial thriller The Da Vinci Code. It is clear that Dan Brown's portrayal is far from the truth revealed by Dowd's investigations, yet Opus Dei still causes unease in people inside and outside the Catholic Church. [More]

Bettany Makes 'Sexiest' List

More than 10,000 women voted for their pin-ups in a survey in March's edition of New Woman magazine. The top 100 of which have been posted on independent.co.uk, Paul Bettany has made the list, he clocks in at 72. Get the entire list here. [More]

Vandals tear down trees at Rosslyn Chapel

VANDALS have gone on the rampage at Rosslyn Chapel, ripping down trees and causing £1000 worth of damage. Eight 12ft-high saplings planted only a week ago were snapped in half last night and laid across the lane that leads to the chapel 50 yards away. When staff locked up last night, at around 5.30pm, the trees were undamaged. Superintendent Finlay Borthwick of Lothian and Borders Police said: "I have been down to examine the site this morning and I am absolutely disgusted at the damage caused. This wanton disregard for the area and the work that has been done to improve the scenery of an area that attracts worldwide attention is staggering. [More]

With All Eyes Focused on the Da Vinci Code Movie, What Will the Sequel Be About?

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The year 2006 is shaping up to be the Year of the Da Vinci Code Movie. Excitement is already building over the May 17 premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and the May 19 worldwide release of the Da Vinci Code film starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou. But interest has also been cooking beneath the surface about what Dan Brown will write next. An eruption may occur at any time.

SECRETS OF THE WIDOW'S SON: The Mysteries Surrounding the Sequel to The Da Vinci Code by David A. Shugarts (Sterling Publishing) is a book-length look into its author's highly educated detective work about the subject matter of the next Dan Brown novel.

The Times of London started off the year with a bang on January 1 with an article about Secrets of the Widow's Son. On January 3, the top-rated magazine show Inside Edition featured a piece on the book, in which author David A. Shugarts explained how he decoded the clues that led him to the supposition that Dan Brown's next book will take place in Washington, DC and involve the Freemasons. And Hollywood has called. Shugarts has been approached by a variety of production companies eager to produce dramatic entertainment by tapping the research he has done. He is consulting for one of these, Mark Burnett Productions.

Order 'Secrets of the Widow's Son' on Amazon.com today!

TV Watch: Paul Bettany on 'Ellen'

Paul Bettany will be on 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' today. He is there to promote his latest film 'Firewall' with Harrison Ford. Check your local listings and check back here for the clip!