The Louvre agrees _ in principle _ to shooting of 'The Da Vinci Code'

Friday, January 21st 2005, 11:04 am
By: News On 6

PARIS (AP) _ Scenes for the film adaptation of the best-selling novel ``The Da Vinci Code'' can, in principle, be shot in the Louvre, but details must still be worked out, the director of the famed museum said Friday.

``There is really a very strong desire to see the movie for this book, which has world renown, shot in the Louvre,'' Henri Loyrette told France-Inter radio. ``It is a yes in principle from our side.''

Filming the adaptation of Dan Brown's mystical thriller is expected to start in June, with Oscar-winner Ron Howard directing. Tom Hanks will play Robert Langdon, a symbologist in a race to solve the murder of an elderly member of an ancient society that has protected dark secrets since the early years of Christianity.

``The Louvre is not a movie set. It is a place that receives an average of 20,000 visitors a day,'' Loyrette said. ``That means the times really available for shooting are Tuesday closing day and nights.

``All the discussions must be taken up with the production because it is bound to be a busy shoot, with financial implications,'' he said.

Talks should begin very soon, he added. Sony Pictures has said it plans to release the film May 19, 2006.

``The Da Vinci Code'' will mark Hanks' third collaboration with Howard and his producing partner Brian Grazer. The three previously worked together on ``Splash'' and ``Apollo 13.''

Howard won a best-director Oscar in 2002 for ``A Beautiful Mind.''

``The Da Vinci Code'' is a mix of code-breaking, art history, secret societies, religion and lore, all wrapped up in short, fast-paced chapters. Several other books have tried to debunk its contentious allegations _ namely, that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and sired a bloodline.