To some, the “Da Vinci Code” was an international blockbuster that made $758 million all over the world. To others, it was a disappointing translation of the bestselling book that currently stands at a lowly 25 percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes. So, when super-screenwriter David Koepp (“Spider-Man,” “Jurassic Park”) was brought in to adapt “Angels & Demons” into a sequel, did the “Da Vinci” filmmakers offer any notes based on the criticisms they received from that second group?
“No,” insisted Koepp. “They don’t really give you notes in relation to the first film, especially since I wasn’t there. I didn’t have anything to do with the first film. Ron [Howard] and his collaborators probably had conversations among themselves about what they wanted to do differently, as you would on any sequel. But since I didn’t have anything to do with it, I was dealing with this as its own thing.”
And in the eyes of Koepp, he didn’t see anything in “Da Vinci” that needed tweaking. “No. Anything I say there would be critical [of the first film]. So no, not really,” he laughed. “Well, the shorter hair. They went with shorter hair [on Tom Hanks] in this film, which I think was a good choice.”
Koepp (whose most recent writing/directing effort “Ghost Town” hits DVD and Blu-Ray December 27th), said that while he didn’t write in a haircut scene for Hanks in “Angels,” he was glad to hear that the superstar would be ditching his controversial hairdo. “People obsess over strange things,” he marvelled. “And it never occurs to you while you’re making a film that ‘This will be something they’ll be talking about’.”
Instead Koepp chose to stay true to Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, and continue envisioning Robert Langdon as a modern-day version of a literary legend. “What’s interesting is now he’s not a new character to us, we’ve met him before,” Koepp said of the “Angels” Langdon. “And what I was thinking going into it is he’s now like Sherlock Holmes; this is a detective – in this case of history and literature, science and art – who they come to with these impossible-to-solve mysteries, which he solves using his erudition. And I thought that was really fun.”
Now, “Angels” & Demons” is in the home-stretch for its much-anticipated May 15th release, promising to give $758 million worth of giddy fans more of the same. And Koepp said things are looking good. “I’ve seen a couple cuts of it, and I think it’s really great. Tom Hanks is fantastic in it, and it comes out in May. So I’ve got a couple more months’ work on it, and then it’s done,” the writer said. “It turned out great; I really liked it.”
Do you think they should have tweaked any specific flaws after the first “Da Vinci” film? Or do you like the Tom Hanks series just as it is?