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Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon in Dan Brown film series

NBC is casting a younger Robert Langdon for a potential new series called Langdon. The drama officially got a pilot order from the network, after getting a production commitment in summer 2019. The TV series will be based on Dan Brown's novel The Lost Symbol, but conceived as a prequel set in Dr. Langdon's earlier years. That's one way to work around the absence of Tom Hanks, who is not set to reprise his role from the film series.

Langdon is meant to follow the early adventures of the Harvard symbologist as he solves a series of deadly puzzles to both save his kidnapped mentor and thwart a chilling global conspiracy. No sweat!

According to Deadline, NBC gave a green light to the script written by Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie, creators of The Crossing, who will also executive produce the show with Dan Brown and Imagine's team. The writers took over Langdon after previous reports had Daniel Cerone attached.

So far, Hollywood has adapted three of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books -- Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and Inferno. The Lost Symbol was the third Langdon novel, between Angels and Da Vinci, but it's being re-imagined and set earlier for the NBC series.

There was going to be a film adaptation of The Lost Symbol before Sony decided to go with Inferno instead. The Lost Symbol idea later morphed into the prequel TV series we're now getting called Langdon. Or the prequel we will get if NBC picks up the pilot for a full series. We'll have to wait and see.

Shortly before Inferno opened, Tom Hanks explained why he keeps returning to the Dan Brown series. He told CinemaBlend it's never a given, he judges each story on a case-by-case basis.

I wonder if the studio now wishes it had gone with The Lost Symbol movie adaptation, since Inferno was not exactly a hit at the box office. The Da Vinci Code was a massive hit as a book and also a big hit as a movie in 2006, making $760 million worldwide. In 2009, Angels & Demons was slightly less of a hit with $485.9 million worldwide. Inferno struggled by comparison with just $34 million domestic and $185.6 million international for a worldwide total of $220 million, per Box Office Mojo.

So I'm not surprised the team decided to try the TV series route. We'll have to see who NBC casts as the new lead for Langdon. It could be a big break for an unknown actor, unless the team decides to go with someone a bit more familiar. They don't get more familiar than Tom Hanks, though, so convincing fans to watch a new Langdon could be a hurdle.

As we wait for updates on Langdon, keep up with everything premiering in early 2020 with our handy TV schedule.

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