Amidst the controversy surrounding "Angels & Demons" since the filming started last year, the thriller mystery film has taken it to Rome for a world premiere on Monday, May 4. The special screening event took place at Auditorium Parco Della Musica, a theater located a mile away from the Vatican City and known as the home of the Rome International Film Festival each October.
Welcoming the stars and guests on the red carpet was an elaborate setting Sony created. Along the 30-foot-wide red carpet, replicas of some of the statues that appear in the film were erected in the addition to at least two dozen fake Swiss guards who stood at attention. Oversized promotional posters for this upcoming sequel to "The Da Vinci Code" were also hung on the buildings.
Cast members, Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Thure Lindhardt were among those on hand for the glitzy premiere. Joining them on the special night were director Ron Howard, author Dan Brown, and Sony Corporation CEO Howard Stringer.
"Angels & Demons" has become media headlines ever since Vatican refused to grant filmmakers access to its sites to shoot the film. Claimed to feature controversial portrayal of the church, the project has also drawn in criticism from some church figures. Before the screening began Monday night, Howard reminded attendees, "Despite all the supposed controversies, despite all that's been said, remember that it's just a film."
A second Dan Brown novel to be brought to the big screen, the movie follows Robert Langdon, a Harvard University professor of symbology, when he investigates a murder victim at CERN. This time, he finds an evidence of deadly threat towards Vatican done by an ancient secret brotherhood, the Illuminati. May 15 will be the U.S. release date for this highly anticipated sequel.