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Monday, June 16, 2008

Vatican Fights 'Angels & Demons'


The Vatican has prevented the production company shooting Dan Brown's Angels & Demons from filming on its grounds or in any Catholic church in Rome, describing the work as “an offence against God”. (Some might argue an offense against literature, others an offense against film, or in its final chapters, an offense against the laws of physics, but let's not quibble). The film is the prequel to Brown's The Da Vinci Code, and stars Tom Hanks again as Robert Langdon, with Ron Howard directing.

The Times of London reports:

Angels and Demons, the latest Dan Brown thriller to be turned into a film, includes key episodes that take place in the Vatican and Rome’s churches. Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the head of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs, said that Brown had “turned the gospels upside down to poison the faith”.

“It would be unacceptable to transform churches into film sets so that his blasphemous novels can be made into films in the name of business,” he said, adding that Brown’s work “wounds common religious feelings”.

Father Marco Fibbi, a spokesman for the Diocese of Rome, said: “Normally we read the script but this time it was not necessary. The name Dan Brown was enough.”

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Angels and Demons revolves around a plot by a sinister elite known as the Illuminati to install their candidate as Pope and blow up the Vatican. Crucial scenes are set in the Vatican and two Rome churches — Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria. In both churches, cardinals are murdered and mutilated with mysterious marks and symbols. Father Antonio Truda, parish priest at Santa Maria del Popolo, said that there was no question of allowing scenes to be shot there. “It’s bad enough having to put up with tour guides explaining the scene to tourists,” he said.

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