Sunday, June 22, 2008

Churches Ban Filming of "Angels and Demons"

How silly is this - and shortsighted. I'm sure the boost from tourism to the churches filmed in the upcoming Dan Brown movie would otherwise be most welcomed by the Roman Catholic Church. Duh! From The New York Times Churches Off Limits to Angels Demons Compiled by MIKE HALE Published: June 17, 2008 In the continuing battle between Dan Brown and the Roman Catholic Church, this round goes to the church. Two years after Vatican officials urged a boycott of the film “The Da Vinci Code,” based on Mr. Brown’s blockbuster novel, the Rome diocese said Monday that two churches had been declared off limits to film crews for “Angels & Demons,” the “Da Vinci Code” prequel, The Associated Press reported. Msgr. Marco Fibbi, a spokesman for the diocese, said that the film “does not conform to our views” and “treats religious issues in a way that contrasts with common religious sentiment.” Permission to film inside Santa Maria del Popolo, above, and Santa Maria della Vittoria, both in central Rome, was denied in 2007, but the situation did not become crucial until now because production of the movie was delayed by the writers’ strike. “Angels & Demons” reunites the director of “The Da Vinci Code,” Ron Howard, and its star, Tom Hanks, with Mr. Hanks reprising his role as the Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon in a story that involves a papal conclave, the cult of the Illuminati and a high-tech threat to the Vatican. Mr. Brown, an executive producer of both films, published “Angels & Demons” three years before “The Da Vinci Code.” “This is a prequel to ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ and it’s clear that the theme is similar,” Monsignor Fibbi said. The ban will not stop crews from filming the exteriors of the churches.

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