Ron Howard is ditching his BFF Dan Brown. The Frost/Nixon director released The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons -- adaptations of Dan Brown's bestselling novels starring Tom Hanks as Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon. Deadline is reporting that Howard won't be taking on the remake of Brown's 2009 Freemason tale, The Lost Symbol, which follows the events after The Da Vinci Code in Washington, D.C.
Even though the mammoth Dark Tower adaptation hasn't worked out for Howard yet, he has his pick of the litter with the Chris Hemsworth racing drama Rush, and possible remakes of Jon Krakauer's Mormon origin story/crime-thriller Under the Banner of Heaven and Mad Magazine's comic Spy vs. Spy. A Deadline insider reports that when it comes to continuing the Brown screen stories, Howard " ... didn't want to do that thing over and over, the same character and the same stories." A Sony insider also confirmed that Howard " ... wanted to produce this one, not direct."
While the Brown novels aren't exactly great literary works, Howard's departure may be a blessing for both parties involved. The films were obvious paycheck movies for Howard and his style doesn't really jibe with the fact-paced action of Brown's conspiracy-riddled world. Reviews for Lost Symbol are mixed to downright nasty, but if the right director can channel all that "bombast" and "codswallop" into something frenetic and dimensional, they'll surely have an even bigger moneymaker on their hands. Yay?