Every so on a book comes along that will appear everywhere, many a train journey I had where everyone was reading a Harry Potter book, whilst not so obvious now due to the Kindle, the last book sensation would have been the Fifty Shades of Grey books.
Prior to that the biggest bestseller that I can recall was Dan Brown’s The DaVinci code, so like everyone else I got onboard and brought the book, it was at the time also very controversial with the telling of Jesus Christ being in a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene for example. but it was also a great chase thriller with its lead Robert Langdon, desperate to solve the mystery of a secret society that could damage the foundations of Christianity.
Ignoring the controversy, it was also a great chase thriller with its lead Robert Langdon, desperate to solve the mystery of a secret society that could damage the very foundations of Christianity.
It’s popularity, of course, had Hollywood calling, Ron Howard would direct the film version with Tom Hanks cast as Robert Langdon.
The film proved to be a huge hit and the first Robert Langdon adventure, Angels and Demons quickly followed to the screen, this time concerning a planned terrorist attack on the Vatican.
I found this film to be very poor compared to the first Langdon film, despite the always dependable Hanks returning to the role. I must admit in respect of the books, I went in at the DaVinci Code and hadn’t read Angels and Demons, but as often is the case, I am told the book was a lot better.
A third Langdon adventure followed, The Lost Symbol but friends who liked the first 2 books were not so keen on this one and I let it pass me by. A fourth book, Inferno released in 2013 I heard no one mention.
However earlier this year a teaser trailer for the film adaptation had me intrigued. You can watch the trailer here
We had a holiday coming up and I found the Dan Brown novel in a charity shop, so having saved some money and helped a good cause, I set to reading it, prior to the film’s release, scheduled in the UK for the 14th October.
The trailer for the film gave a concept of the pressing of one button would wipe out half the world’s population or by not pressing it would see the world die out in 100 years.
The book, however, is less simple. Langdon wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of how he got there. With the help of Dr. Sienna Brooks, (being played by Felicity Jones in the film) he manages to escape when his life is threatened.
With only lines from the work of Dante’s Inferno to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes that have been buried, whilst avoiding Vayentha (to be played by Ana Ularu in the film) who is trying to kill Langdon.
The riddles they are trying to solve have been set by a billionaire geneticist named Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster will play him in the film and it would appear he will have a bigger part of the story than in the book, going by the plot of the trailer) It is he who is intent on solving the world’s overpopulation by releasing a virus, which seems to be the main part of the novel the film will focus on.
The book is exciting enough, with lots of twists and turns but I do find with these books they can get bogged down in the historical aspects when going into it. I sometimes feel I have to be like Langdon and be a professor to keep up sometimes. It’s these elements that do make the film a lot more dramatic than say the just as enjoyable cheesy historical quest, National Treasure films starring Nicolas Cage.
I would say if you have enjoyed Dan Browns’ earlier Langdon books but not read Inferno, then give it a go.
If not intending to read it, I would suggest the book gives plenty to suggest that this could be a great film. With Ron Howard returning to direct, a script from David Koepp and starring Tom Hanks, this like his Co-star Felicity Jones other forthcoming films, Rogue One; A Star Wars Story & A Monster Calls, Inferno could prove to be a must see this October.
Have you read any of the Robert Langdon books or any of other Dan Brown’s works? Did you enjoy the first two screen outings for Tom Hanks as Langdon? Are you looking forward to Inferno? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films.
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