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The adaptation of Dan Brown's third Robert Langdon novel The Lost Symbol still hasn't started production, but already we are learning details about plans for the fourth book in the series. According to Deadline, both director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks - who worked together on both 2006's The Da Vinci Code and 2009's Angels & Demons - are now set to reunite on the fourth movie adaptation of the franchise, Inferno, and that the film will be in theaters on December 18, 2015. The book first hit shelves back in May and featured Langdon, the Harvard University professor of religious iconology and symbology, heading to Italy and finding himself stuck in a mystery surrounding one of the greatest stories ever told: Dante's Inferno.
It's interesting that Howard would want to direct Inferno as he ultimately decided that he didn't want to direct The Lost Symbol (a project that is now apparently on the backburner). He is still set to produce the film with Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer, but he won't be at the helm. The most recent news about the project was that Mark Romanek was going to direct, but it's unclear if that's still the case. Regardless, it seems that the adaptation won't happen until after Howard's Inferno.
The adaptation's addition to the release calendar means that 2015's collection of blockbuster franchise films has grown even bigger. In addition to Howard's film, the year will also include Joss Whedon's The Avengers 2, J. J. Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII, a Man of Steel sequel or another DC Comics movie, Sam Mendes' Bond 24, Edgar Wright's Ant-Man, Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Jurassic Park 4, Terminator, Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2, Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot and Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Inferno is, however, the only one in the group that will be released in December.
Hanks hasn't been on the big screen since Cloud Atlas last year, but has a big double punch coming up later this fall. In October he will be playing the titular character in Paul Greengrass' true-life drama Captain Phillips, which tells the story of a heroic captain who saved his crew when his ship was overtaken by Somali pirates. Then in December he will portray play Walt Disney in John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks, the true story of how Disney persuaded author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to adapt her book Mary Poppins.
While Howard hasn't directed a movie since 2011's The Dilemma, he appears to be firing on all cylinders nowadays. Later this year we'll get to see his Formula 1 racing drama Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl and Olivia Wilde, but he is already getting prepared to make his follow-up, the whaling drama In The Heart of the Sea. Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Walker, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Keeley and Tom Holland are all set to star.