Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Da Vinci' Cast Bios Added & Updated!

I have updated the cast bios, I added a few more castmembers, updated photos and images...take a look! [Cast Section]

Dan Brown, Cover Your Eyes: Gay Porn 'Da Vinci' Adaptation to Be Released Same Day as Ron Howard's 'Da Vinci Code'

Production outfit PZP Productions has announced plans to release its gay-sex film The DaVinci Load on May 19, the same day the movie that it parodies—Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code—is scheduled to hit theaters. PZP head Peter Zaragoza told Gay Video News, “The DaVinci Load is our most ambitious and expensive film to date. The star, new discovery Sebastian Young, is a hot bad-boy with a [remarkable appendage] and great charisma.” [More]

Three Years After Publication, The Da Vinci Code Continues to Dominate Bestseller Lists at Barnes & Noble

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 30, 2006--Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS - News), the world's largest bookseller, today announced that the craze for Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code continues with this week's release of the trade and mass-market editions. Since its publication on March 18, 2003, The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 2.5 million copies, making it the bestselling hardcover fiction title in Barnes & Noble's history. The paperback editions, as expected, are also top sellers, and the excitement has spilled over into similarly themed books. [More]

'Focus on the Family' Targets The Da Vinci Code

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 30 /Christian Wire Service/ -- How will Focus on the Family, one of the largest evangelical organizations in the country, stop millions from flocking to theaters this May to see the highly anticipated release of The Da Vinci Code? The answer: it won't. Focus on the Family, recognizing that millions of Americans of all faiths will fill theater seats when The Da Vinci Code releases May 19, won't tell constituents to stay away. Instead the ministry, which reaches an international audience of over 200 million, is offering resources by top Christian scholars online at to help moviegoers better understand and answer the questions the novel raised. [More]

Deciphering the 'Da Vinci' legal code

As millions of new paperbacks flood stores and the movie version approaches, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, faces another drama in a London court. At stake in the plagiarism suit are more than $3 million in legal costs, which must be paid by whoever loses the suit, dividends from book sales of more than 40 million copies, and box-office returns from a soon-to-be-released film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou. Justice Peter Smith is deliberating after hearing final arguments last week and is expected to rule in the next few weeks. [More]

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Da Vinci Code Guide Books

NEW YORK - A movie verson of "The Da Vinci Code" starring Tom Hanks is due out May 19, and that could add to the number of fans making pilgrimages to places in Europe associated with the mystical thriller. Two new guide books out this week, "Fodor's Guide to The Da Vinci Code: On the Trail of the Best-Selling Novel" ($14.95) and "Walking the Da Vinci Code in Paris: Decoding the City and the Book" from Avalon Travel ($13.95) can help you plan a trip to see places that figure in the novel by Dan Brown. Both guides offer trip-planning advice and describe the real history behind various sites and how they fit into the novel. "Walking the Da Vinci Code in Paris" is written by Peter Caine, founder of a tour company called Paris Walks, and includes detailed directions for self-guided walking tours there. [More]

"Da Vinci Code" fuels US religious publishing boom

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A wave of religious books is coming to bookstores to cash in on "The Da Vinci Code" movie in May, including a book saying Jesus survived crucifixion and an Evangelical novel with a modern-day Mary Magdalene heroine. Americans are finally able to buy Dan Brown's best seller in paperback on Tuesday, three years after it was first published, and with "Da Vinci Code" fever as strong as ever, it's never been so profitable to write about Christianity. After Brown's book sold 40 million copies worldwide, books that once might have been released in a limited print run will be stacked at the front of bookstores this spring. [More]

'The Da Vinci Code' Paperback on Store Shelves Today!

The new paperback edition of 'The Da Vinci Code' is now out in store shelves today. This edition is 496 pages, includes the movie tie-in cover of the Mona Lisa. Actual dimensions are: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches, order yours today! [Amazon]

Monday, March 27, 2006

Why the world loves `The Da Vinci Code'

Come Tuesday, all heaven's gonna break loose. The hotly anticipated paperback version of "The Da Vinci Code" -- the novel that wrings high drama and lowdown behavior out of church history -- is scheduled for release. Five million copies will pop up in stores, ready to capitalize on the May release of the film version of Dan Brown's cheerfully blasphemous blockbuster. First published in hardcover in 2003, the book has sold some 43 million copies worldwide. Not too shabby for a work that mixes theology, art history and lots of foreign words. [More]

Trail blazed by 'Da Vinci' shows no signs of cooling

Five novels - four already international best sellers - are enjoying the revival of the religious-thriller genre, thanks to the phenomenal success of The Da Vinci Code. USA TODAY looks at the books' Code-like appeal. [More]

Damper on Da Vinci Code

The Curate at St Paul's Church in Woodford Bridge has said he cannot see "what all the fuss is about" surrounding the book The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown's novel has sold over 40 million copies worldwide and is currently at the centre of a legal battle between Mr Brown and the authors of the 1982 book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail who claim plagiarism by Mr Brown. A film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks and Sir Ian McKellen is to be released on May 19. [More]

'Da Vinci' paperback vs. 'The Jesus Papers'

The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown and Holy Blood, Holy Grail author Michael Baigent just butted heads in a London courtroom. This week, they'll go head-to-head in bookstores, too. More than 5 million copies of the DaVinci paperback go on sale Tuesday, in both mass-market ($7.99) and the larger trade paperback size ($14.95). So does Baigent's new book, The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History (HarperSanFrancisco); first printing: 150,000. Coincidence or marketing? [More]

Pre-Order 'The Da Vinci Code' on Paperback today!

Pre-Order 'The Jesus Papers : Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History' today!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

'Da Vinci' inspirations to appear in film

From Brown has rewarded two authors who helped to inspire his bestseller The Da Vinci Code. The novelist has allowed Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, writers of 1997 book The Templar Revelation, to shoot a scene with Tom Hanks in the Da Vinci movie adaptation. Brown is currently in court defending allegations from two other authors that he lifted elements from 1982 book The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail. Lynn told the Sunday Mirror, "Dan admitted in court he got his 'big idea' after reading our book. It wasn't until the trial that we realised quite how much he'd used our work. He sorted it for us to be in the film, which was an honour. We sat behind Tom on a London bus."

My Tourture Playing the Monk from Hell

Movie hunk Paul Bettany told last week how filming new film The Da Vinci Code left him bald, burned and unrecognisable from his passport picture. Paul, 34, plays albino monk Silas in the big-screen version of the novel. The role meant a huge physical transformation for the British star to give him a ghostly, pale appearance. Initially, they tried to dye his hair but that went wrong. "It hurt like a son of a bitch," said Paul when we met in Barcelona for the premiere of his latest thriller Firewall. [More]

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hollywood vs. Albinos

From Are people with albinism getting a fair shake on the silver screen? Follow this link and look for the 'Hollywood vs. Albinos' video link in the middle of the page. [More]

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Zealand Bound

I will be heading to New Zealand next month for a 10-day vacation in and around Wellington. Ubisoft, makers of “Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie” headed a contest a while back where the winners receive an all-expense paid trip to Wellington to visit the WETA studios, and I’ll be escorting them!

My journey begins on April 6th and I arrive on the 8th (the 7th will magically disappear from my calendar thanks to the wonder of crossing a ton of time zones), I have a few things already planned, my wife and I want to take some city and LOTR location tours, and we plan on seeing some friends I have made over the years while working on Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Narnia websites. Of course I also want to do some lounging about in the pre-fall goodness that is Wellywood. I will be shooting some video to be featured on the site, so keep an eye out for those!

I plan on having a ton of photos and goodies to show you from my trip, and if you know of any cool places to visit in the area, drop me a line!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Da Vinci Code Trailer Online!

Yet another trailer for 'The Da Vinci Code' has appeared online. This one, like the others, has many of the same shots from the previous trailers, but also features a few more goodies added in. The trailer seems to follow the storyline of the book for the first few minutes, then the end shows a series of 'money shots' from throughout the film. Take a look! [More]

Monday, March 20, 2006

Grazer says 'Da Vinci Code' movie 'informed fiction'

NEW YORK The producer of "The Da Vinci Code" movie says a flap with some Catholics over the upcoming film has been a blessing. Brian Grazer says that's because it's sparking debate about religion, faith and belief. He talked about the movie on N-B-C's "Today" show. Some Catholic groups consider the movie insulting to their faith and want a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie stating it's a work of fiction. The film is to be released in May. [More]

"Da Vinci Code" case ends, ruling by early April

LONDON (Reuters) - The copyright case brought by two historians who accuse Dan Brown of plagiarizing their work in "The Da Vinci Code" ended on Monday, and the presiding judge said he hoped to give a ruling by early April. Lasting more than three weeks, the closely watched hearings featured a tetchy Brown in the witness box, debate about the Merovingian monarchy, the Knights Templar and Jesus' bloodline, and revelations about the media-shy author and his wife Blythe. The Da Vinci Code, one of the most successful novels of all time with sales of over 40 million copies, uses some of the same ideas as "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," a 1982 work of historical conjecture by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. [More]

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The paperback Grail

At long last, three years after Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" hit the best-seller lists, it's coming out in paperback. With more than 40 million hardcover copies sold worldwide, it's a fair question as to whether there's a massive audience for the more affordable version. But the publisher is betting huge that there is. Random House is printing 5 million copies, and while Barnes & Noble's order for the paperback is its largest single purchase of a title in 20 years, the plan is to also saturate other outlets, from airport lounges to grocery stores, with copies. In other words, you'll be able to get your Big Gulp and soft-cover heresy to go. [More]

Pre-Order 'The Da Vinci Code' on Paperback today!

5 Things You Didn't Know About The Movie The Da Vinci Code

From It starts with a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. But when clues found in the Da Vinci paintings unlock a mystery 2,000 years old, the very nature of Christianity is at stake. That's the premise of The Da Vinci Code, the bestselling book by Dan Brown that will soon become a blockbuster movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. You may think you know it all after reading the book, but here are five things you didn't know about the movie The Da Vinci Code. [More]


Coastal Carolina University professor Cheryl Rhodes offers a free lecture on Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" 7 p.m. Wednesday at CCU's Waccamaw Higher Education Center, 106 Willbrook Boulevard, Litchfield. Rhodes will address topics within the novel, including Mary Magdalene, Opus Dei, the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail and Leonardo Da Vinci's work. For information, call the Waccamaw Higher Education Center, 349-4030.

'Da Vinci Code' case nears ending

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A court case in which two historians accuse Dan Brown of copying their work in his novel "The Da Vinci Code" is due to finish on Monday, ending one of the most closely watched copyright claims of recent years. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh wrote "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail", a work of historical conjecture published in 1982, which shares some of the same themes as Brown's best-selling religious thriller. They are suing Brown's British publisher Random House, which also happens to be their own. [More]

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Defense: 'Da Vinci' Prosecution in Tatters

LONDON - A lawyer for the publisher of "The Da Vinci Code" wrapped up the defense's case Friday by telling London's High Court that two authors' claim for copyright infringement was "in tatters." Setting out closing arguments as the three-week trial nears its end, defense attorney John Baldwin said it was clear that Dan Brown's best-selling thriller had not copied from work by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. Baldwin said that while many of the incidents in "The Da Vinci Code" had been described before, "no one has put them together, and developed and expressed them, in the way Mr. Brown did. That is why he has a best seller. [More]

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Game First Look

Talk about cross-pollination. The mega-bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code is about to become an assuredly mega-blockbuster film this summer, and 2K Games is working with developer The Collective to bring the immensely well-known franchise to the gaming sphere at the same time. For the two or three of you who haven't read the book, the story begins with a simple murder at the Parisian museum the Louvre, but it quickly expands to encompass conspiracies, shadowy groups, and a secret threaded throughout the paintings of the great renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci. [More] [View Slideshow]

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'Da Vinci Code' author Brown takes stand

LONDON (AP) — Dan Brown took the stand Monday to rebut accusations that he copied from other writers' work to produce his huge best-seller The Da Vinci Code. Authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing Da Vinci Code publisher Random House for copyright infringement, claiming Brown "appropriated the architecture" of their 1982 non-fiction book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Both books explore theories — dismissed by theologians but embraced by millions of readers — that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, the couple had a child and the bloodline survives. [More]

'Code' Suit Goes From Mystical to Mundane

LONDON - A British court Tuesday moved from the mystic realm of Knights Templars, Masons and the sacred feminine to a more arcane world of footnotes, sourcing and underlining as Dan Brown defended his blockbuster novel, "The Da Vinci Code." The author was on the stand for the second day defending his work against a copyright infringement suit brought by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of a 1982 nonfiction book, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail." [More]

Monday, March 13, 2006

Author Dan Brown "astounded" at copying claim

LONDON (Reuters) - Author Dan Brown said on Monday he was "astounded" at allegations by two historians that he copied their work wholesale when he wrote the best-selling religious thriller "The Da Vinci Code." In a statement released to reporters after he took the witness stand for the first time, the 41-year-old also pointed out that he credited the work of Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh in the body of his novel. "I would like to restate that I remain astounded by the claimants' choice to file this plagiarism suit," he said. "For them to suggest, as I understand they do, that I have hijacked and exploited their work is simply untrue." [More]

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tautou 'Starstruck' by Hanks

From French actress AUDREY TAUTOU was so starstruck when working with TOM HANKS in THE DA VINCI CODE, she couldn't stop laughing. The AMELIE beauty was overwhelmed on the set of her biggest movie yet, and had to remind herself she really had been cast alongside the double Best Actor Oscar-winner. She says, "While I was being made up and sat there next to Tom, I laughed nervously. I really felt as if this was a joke - it didn't seem reasonable to be part of my life. "I felt kind of out of place with next to these people. It did take a while until I wasn't impressed any more."

How Dan Brown's wife unlocked the code to bestseller success

Dan Brown loves his goddesses. So much so that not only is 'woman power' revealed as the universal secret behind all the events in his novel The Da Vinci Code, but the real-life force behind the man and the book turns out to be his wife, Blythe. Brown will be cross-examined tomorrow in one of the most eagerly awaited setpieces the High Court has ever seen. His evidence, responding to two historians who claim the book plagiarised their ideas, will offer the fans packed inside Court 61 in London a unique chance to hear the story behind the world's bestselling adult hardback novel in the author's own words. [More]

As 'Da Vinci Code' film looms, Opus Dei tries to explain itself

Opus Dei spokesman Brian Finnerty used to shrug off all the unwelcome attention: The gaggles of teenagers who peered into Opus Dei's U.S. headquarters at 34th Street and Lexington inquiring after Silas, the albino monk assassin of Da Vinci Code fame. The letters addressed to Bishop Aringarosa, the fictional head of Opus Dei in Dan Brown's bestselling novel, seeking more information about the Holy Grail. The tourists who wandered around the building clutching dog-eared copies of the book, trying to retrace the characters' steps. [More]

It's the controversial passion of da code

Gay cowboys and controversial journalists aside, the film making the most noise in 2006 is director Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's controversial best seller, The Da Vinci Code. The film, which stars Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina and Paul Bettany is expected to be released world-wide on May 19, but already the release of the film has had a shadow cast over it in the form of a copyright court case in London. Cashing in on the phenomenal success of the book, which has already sold more than 40 million copies around the world, Sony Pictures wasted no time in turning the story about the legacy of Jesus Christ into a potential blockbuster by paying $6-million for the film rights and signing on big names like Hanks and Howard. However, two authors, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing Brown's publisher, Random House, over what they claim is the theft of the idea put forward by them in their own book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. [More]

Saturday, March 11, 2006

'Code' Lawsuit Good For Business

The authors of "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," plaintiffs Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, have seen sales of their book zoom during the Dav Vinci Code trial. The somewhat tasteless joke circulating among journalists outside London’s High Court goes like this: Did you hear about the planeful of vacationers that crashed on the way back from the islands? Investigators have already recovered 37 copies of the "Da Vinci Code." Inside court or out, no one’s challenging the fact that the Dan Brown best-seller has been, well — popular. Some even claim that it’s primarily the phenomenal, 40-million-copy success of the book — and not its arcane, crypto-historical theories about Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, French royal bloodlines and secret societies — that’s really the impetus for the lawsuit claiming infringement of copyright. [More]

'Da Vinci Code' puts shadowy Opus Dei in the spotlight

Madrid: The influential but esoteric Catholic organisation Opus Dei that has invited undue interest after its negative portrayal in the best-seller "The Da Vinci Code" has mounted a counter-offensive, using the publicity to promote its ideas. The organisation was thrown into the spotlight by the US author Dan Brown's much-acclaimed book that brought criticism of the Opus Dei into the open, giving the group a devastatingly negative image globally. But the organisation, often depicted as a power-hungry bastion of ultra-conservatism with a reputation for secrecy, is using the unwanted publicity to promote its ideas. [More]

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Phenomena Guide to the Da Vinci Code Guides

By DAVID V. BARRETT: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is one of those publishing phenomena that authors and publishers dream of. It sold millions of copies in its first year and is about to be released as a major film. But why did it become so huge? After all, as a murder-mystery thriller it’s not bad, but there are hundreds more just as good or better. And why has it attracted so much antagonism? It was even banned in the Lebanon, because some Catholics there felt it was “an insult to our dignity and beliefs”. [More]

Phenomena’s Senior Editor, David V. Barrett, presents the most comprehensive analysis anywhere of the spin-offs generated by the success of Dan Brown’s best-selling blockbuster novel, The Da Vinci Code.

Verbal fireworks as Da Vinci Code case nears end

LONDON (Reuters) - Some heated verbal exchanges erupted on Friday in the closing stages of "The Da Vinci Code" copyright court case, in which two historians accuse author Dan Brown of lifting their research wholesale in his bestseller. Richard Leigh took to the witness box after more than three days of painstaking cross examination of co-claimant Michael Baigent, enlivening proceedings and saying all he had wanted was proper acknowledgement from Brown in his novel. Leigh could hardly have been more different than the soft-spoken, professorial Baigent. In delivery he was clear and aggressive, and instead of dark, sober suits he appeared in court this week in a brown leather jacket and dark sunglasses. [More]

US Catholic bishops launch website against 'Da Vinci Code' movie

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - US Catholic bishops launched a stinging Internet counter-attack on the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code," ahead of the release of Ron Howard's film version in May. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a new website refuting key claims made in Dan Brown's novel that are likely to be brought to the big screen in Howard's movie, starring Tom Hanks. "'The Da Vinci Code' is a mess, a riot of laughable errors and serious misstatements. Almost every page has at least one of each," the bishops wrote on the website [More]

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

'Da Vinci Code' trial back on

An author who is suing the publishers of the best-selling thriller "The Da Vinci Code" admitted in court Tuesday to exaggerating his claims that the novel borrowed from his own work. Authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh contend parts of their 1982 nonfiction book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" formed the basis of Dan Brown's novel, which has sold more than 40 million copies and has been made into a film starring Tom Hanks. The lawsuit against Random House resumed Tuesday at London's High Court after a weeklong break to give the judge time to read both books and related materials. If the writers succeed in securing an injunction to bar the use of their material, they could hold up the film's scheduled May 19 release. Both books hinge on the theory Jesus married Mary Magdalen. [More]

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Claimant admits falsehoods in 'Da Vinci Code' legal battle

LONDON (AFP) - An author who claims that his theories on Christian heresies were copied in Dan Brown's best-selling "The Da Vinci Code" acknowledged in court that some of his own evidence is false. Michael Baigent, co-writer of "The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail", faced a grilling from John Baldwin, the lawyer representing publisher Random House, at the High Court here as the high-stakes copyright infringement case unfolded. Baigent and fellow author Richard Leigh are suing Random House, their own publisher, which also released "The Da Vinci Code", alleging Brown's bestseller drew heavily on their work. If they win an injunction, it could impact on the British release of a star-studded film version of Brown's fictional tale of murder and conspiracy in the Roman Catholic Church. [More]

Monday, March 06, 2006

Da Vini Code Commercial Online Now!

During the Oscar telecast Sunday night they aired a commercial for 'The Da Vinci Code', it featured some new clips and scenes from the film! Take a look! [More]

Tom Hanks Goofs on Oscars

Tom Hanks presented a video for Oscar hopefuls to showcase the new methods the Academy was using to make sure the speeches don't run too long. Among them is poking with a trombone, bashing his head with a viola and of course..the tranquilizer dart. [More]

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Space Foundation honoring Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks will be honored by the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs next month. The actor, director and producer was chosen to receive this year's Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award, which is given to a person or organization making an outstanding contribution to increasing public support for the exploration of space. He will be honored April 3 in Colorado Springs at the opening of the 22nd National Space Symposium. [More]

Deciphering Dan Brown

A new thriller has forced the best-selling author out of his hideaway and into an unwelcome spotlight, writes James Button. It was the usual busy week in Britain's High Court. A drug dealer got a year knocked off his six-year sentence; a murderer appealed his life sentence and lost; and the appeals of a host of failed asylum seekers inched forward. But few people came to watch these cases. Instead, they were all in Court 61. The room was so packed that people had to stand, or sit on the floor. An attendant scribbled a "Court Full" sign on a piece of paper and taped it to the door. Inside, all eyes were on the front bench where the antagonists sat, their eyes studiously averted from each other. On the left, Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent. On the right, Dan Brown. [More]

Searching for copyright's Holy Grail

This week's appearance of Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown in the High Court on plagiarism allegations promises to be one of the court cases of the year. It also offers valuable copyright lessons for company bosses, says lawyer Lee Fisher, intellectual property partner at Morgan Cole Solicitors. Best-selling author Dan Brown's appearance in the High Court on allegations of plagiarism - and the potential of Prince Charles being cross-examined about the contents of his journals - has put copyright law on the front pages in recent weeks. These cases should prompt companies to look at the information they are putting into the public domain. Especially anything on a website. Copyright has been protected in the UK since the statute of Anne in 1709, although the current law was more recently encoded in the Copyright Design and Patent Act 1988. It gives protection for literary, artistic and dramatic works. [More]

The evolving Mary Magdalene

Redeemed sinner, prostitute, wife of Jesus? Mary Magdalene's image has gone through myriad incarnations over the centuries, and this Lenten season she's drawing new attention thanks to the upcoming movie version of "The Da Vinci Code," a slew of books and Internet arguments. But those looking for a salacious side to the biblical figure will be disappointed: Serious religious scholars agree characterizations that stray from faithful disciple and witness to the Resurrection are bogus. Despite stage and screen portrayals, they say, the sinful Mary is a matter of mistaken identity. The chief culprit was Pope Gregory the Great, who preached a sermon in A.D. 591 calling Mary a notorious prostitute who repented after encountering Jesus Christ. The "Da Vinci" yarn says Christians conspired to conceal the Jesus-Mary marriage and the royal French bloodline their offspring established. But there's no evidence Jesus ever married Mary — or anyone else — and we know other first century Jewish holy men remained celibate. [More]

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Court case could hold up 'Da Vinci Code' movie

LONDON - It's the latest twist for the mega-selling conspiracy thriller "The Da Vinci Code": a lawsuit against the book's publisher for breach of copyright that could taint the novel and delay the much-anticipated movie version. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of the 1982 nonfiction book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," are suing publisher Random House Inc. over the allegation that parts of their work formed the basis of Dan Brown's novel, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and remains high on best seller lists nearly three years after publication. If the writers succeed in securing an injunction to bar the use of their material, they could hold up the scheduled May 19 release of "The Da Vinci Code" film, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard. [More]

‘Da Vinci Code does qualify for tax breaks’

Invicta Capital, the film financier which raised money from investors to finance the screen version of the Da Vinci Code, has reassured backers that money given to the film’s producer does still qualify for tax breaks under existing UK legislation, The Times reported. The response came as copyright action taken against Da Vinci code author, Dan Brown, in the High Court threatened to halt distribution of the film. Invicta Capital, on behalf of private investors, has raised £100m for Sony Pictures, the producer of the film, which has a total budget of £114m. [More]

Librarian says 'Da Vinci Code' suit lacks merit

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- A retired librarian who helped novelist Dan Brown conduct research for the mega-selling thriller "The Da Vinci Code" said a lawsuit accusing Brown of stealing ideas from other writers is bogus. Stan Planton, 58, a retired head librarian at Ohio University-Chillicothe, said Tuesday he's puzzled by the court case, which began this week in London. He downplayed his role with the book, saying he exchanged e-mails with Brown prior to publication of "The Da Vinci Code," helping Brown locate information on the lineage of French kings and other minor details. "I was just being a librarian, helping someone find what they needed," said Planton, who retired last year. He said he has not been contacted by attorneys involved in the lawsuit. [More]


It's a murder mystery that spans 2,000 years - a fantastical thriller taking in hidden treasure, religious skulduggery and a sinister brotherhood. Millions around the world seem ready to accept the bizarre theory it proposes as historical fact. But could the truth about The Da Vinci Code lie in the more prosaic surroundings of a humble village church in southern France? We have unearthed fascinating clues about the controversial story at the centre of the most lucrative legal clash in literary history. [More]

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Russian Orthodox Church against screening Da Vinci Code

MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Orthodox Church shares the Vatican's opposition to screening a film based on Dan Brown's international bestseller "The Da Vinci Code" because of the novel's blasphemous content, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchy said Wednesday. Mikhail Dudko said that although "The Da Vinci Code" was based on a fictitious story, it would be wrong to regard the book and its movie version, due to be released in May, merely as works of art. "We, people of faith, are used to paying a lot of attention to words and images, and we know just how powerful they can be. This is something not to be overlooked in today's fragile and troubled world." [More]

Da Vinci Code hearing adjourned

An English judge hearing claims by two historians that The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown stole their ideas adjourned the case today to give him time to read the books in more detail. Judge Peter Smith will restart proceedings brought by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh next Wednesday once he has read the blockbusting novel and the 1982 publication they wrote with Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. He will also read other texts cited as sources for the books. [More]