"Angels & Demons", Dan Brown's bestselling novel that provides introduction to Robert Langdon character in "The Da Vinci Code" is set mostly in Rome and the Vatican, which both are the seat of the Catholic Church. Hence, it makes sense that the filmmakers adapting the book into a feature film want to shoot the entire film on locations. However, with the controversial movie "Da Vinci Code" is still fresh in Vatican's mind, getting permission to shoot several scenes in Rome churches would be an impossible task, especially after the Vatican has chosen to boycott it.
On the latest production news regarding "Angels", it is reported that the Roman Catholic Church has closed their churches' doors denying the Ron Howard-directed movie from shooting at the churches of Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria, in which Langdon supposedly has a scene where he finds a cardinal being set on fire. On the reason for the rejection, Archdiocese spokesman Reverend Marco Fibbi explained, "Usually we read the script but in this case it wasn't necessary. Just the name Dan Brown was enough."
Insisting that most films are allowed to shoot inside churches with condition that they respect Church's traditions, Father Fibbi further said, "Angels and Demons peddles a type of fantasy that damages our common religious beliefs, just like The Da Vinci Code did." In an telephone interview with The Associated Press, he added, "It's a film that treats religious issues in a way that contrasts with common religious sentiment. We would be helping them create a work that might well be beautiful but that does not conform to our views."
Actually, the prequel film to the highly successful mystery movie "Da Vinci Code" has fallen into production sometime in early June and since then, the drama thriller has been filming at Rome's famous places, such as Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo. Because of the Roman Church's negative answer to the request, the filming crew of "Angels" now move to Caserta which is located near Naples to use the former Royal Palace as the duplicate for the inside of the Vatican.
Starred once again by Tom Hanks as the Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University, "Angels and Demons" follows Langdon's adventure as he tries to stop the legendary secret society known as the Illuminati from destroying the Vatican City using world's most powerful energy source, the antimatter. The Sony Pictures Releasing's film will also be supported by Ayelet Zurer and Ewan McGregor and is expected to be released on May 15, 2009.