When you're making multiple films in a series where each film has a similar premise, it's important to shake things up to avoid getting stale. That's what director Ron Howard knew when he began thinking about adapting another of Dan Brown's novels centered on Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and his impeccable nose for religion-themed mysteries. Inferno, the sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, will be putting a new spin on the formula in order to keep it fresh not only for the fans but for the people making the movie, too.
Despite being the third movie, Inferno is actually the fourth book in author Dan Brown's series. Ron Howard decided to skip the third book, The Lost Symbol, because the story felt too familiar. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Howard revealed his thought process behind why Inferno was the right choice for the next movie. A big aspect of it was how unique the novel felt compared to the others and the challenge it would present to lead actor Tom Hanks.
This one felt fresh. It felt like a fun, fascinating performance opportunity for Tom ...the fact that Langdon is part of the mystery and not just an observer. He's really in the mix, that gives it a psychological thriller component that was never really in the DNA of the previous movies.
Inferno does indeed shake things up quite a bit. When Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy with no memory of the last few days, he finds himself the target of a major manhunt for committing a crime he has no recollection of. He'll team up with Felicity Jones' Dr. Sienna Brooks to clear his name and solve a riddle based on Dante's epic 14th-century poem, "Inferno". The poem is essentially a description of hell using vivid imagery and detail, which is mirrored in Dan Brown's novel. This imagery was another reason why Ron Howard wanted to tackle the material.
The fact that the historical component that Dan Brown chose is Dante in hell give me, as a director, all kinds of vivid cool moments, images, sounds and cutting styles to deal with, so it was a really fun creative departure and undertaking for me, and for all of us.
It sounds like fans can expect some crazy things to go down in Inferno. If there are any Dan Brown purists out there who are upset they skipped over The Lost Symbol, hopefully, this helps to win them over. There are plenty of film series out there that basically just make the same thing over and over because the movies do well at the box office. Say what you want about this particular series, but at least Inferno seems motivated by creative reasons as opposed to monetary.
Inferno is scheduled to hit theaters this fall on October 28.