The ongoing Writers Guild of America strike has now inflicted the first major casualty in Hollywood film industry. Columbia Pictures as the studio behind "Angels & Demons", the prequel to last year's hit "The Da Vinci Code", announced yesterday, November 16, 2007 that it is postponing the production on the project.
Sources said the screenplay, penned by Akiva Goldsman, was rushed to meet the WGA's Nov. 1 deadline for reaching a new contract with producers, but came in with insurmountable problems instead. Moreover, no names are cast yet apart from Tom Hanks, who will reprise his role as professor Robert Langdon.
"While the filmmakers and the studio feel the screenplay is very strong, we do not believe it is the fully realized production draft required of this ambitious project," a spokesperson for Sony remarked. "At this time, there is no new start date for 'Angels & Demons,' but we are setting a release date of May 15, 2009, and are hopeful to deliver the movie worldwide to theaters on that date. We do not expect any other film on our 2008 slate to be affected."
Bringing back Ron Howard on the director's chair, "Angels" finds Langdon getting assigned to analyze a mysterious symbol carved on the dead body of a scientist named Leonardo Vetra, which surprisingly leads to a plot to destroy the Vatican during a papal conclave. The flick was initially expected to start July this year to meet a planned December 19, 2008 release.