"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Tuesday, March 03, 2020

New Robert Langdon For NBC's 'Lost Symbol'-based TV Series

Media websites are reporting that Australian-American actor Ashley Zukerman has been cast as author Dan Brown's globe-hopping symbologist Robert Langdon in NBC's upcoming series, Langdon. The series will be based on Brown's The Da Vinci Code sequel, 2009's The Lost Symbol, which revolves around the Freemasons and Masonic sites across Washington, D.C.

Ashley Zukerman
It's never been very often that the Masons have been uniformly portrayed as the virtuous good guys and central characters to high-visibility film or TV projects, so this is good news.

Zukerman's Robert Langdon will be a younger version of
Tom Hank's character in the motion picture chronology
The NBC series is being treated as a sort of prequel to The Da Vinci CodeAngels & Demons, and Inferno, the previous big-budget movies made with Tom Hanks in the part. Zukerman's Robert Langdon will be younger than Hanks', and the plot line of the book will be slightly shifted so that the character of Peter Solomon will more clearly be Langdon's more recent mentor from his early Harvard days. 

Ashley Zukerman most recently appeared in the HBO series Succession, but he's not exactly a household name like Hanks. That's probably a good thing for such a high-visibility role like Robert Langdon.

Scottish Rite SJ's House of the Temple in Washington

It's unknown at this point whether the series will actually be shot in Washington (a frustratingly complex city to film in logistically), or even if the actual Masonic sites mentioned in the book will be used for the production. The Scottish Rite SJ's distinctive headquarters, the House of the Temple, plays an important part in the original novel, but no one knows whether it will be retained in the series, changed to a different (and possibly fictional) location, or re-created in whole or in part via cgi effects (which would have been required anyway due to plot action). 

It'll be hard to improve on the HOT's real-life Temple room, but I'm sure Hollywood will want to up the ante on spookiness. Still way too early to tell.

Nevertheless, be aware that The Lost Symbol source material for Langdon features Freemasons, Masonic symbolism and philosophy all the way through, including a quite philosophical ending. Let's hope at least some of that survives in this upcoming TV treatment. And it would be nice for everyone involved—including us— if this turns out to be a hit.

The approved script for the Langdon show has been written by The Crossing creators Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie, and rumor has it that Dan Brown recommended them for the project. They've been named as the show's executive producers - they also co-created/executive produced Matador, and served as consulting producers on Star Trek: Discovery and American Horror Story

No word yet on who plays kindly old Masonic sage Peter Solomon - hopefully a cross between Art de Hoyos and Brent Morris. Maybe with a curmudgeonly touch of Rex Hutchens thrown in. 

I'll be happy to forward my headshot to producers. 

Just sayin'.

(While you wait, I'd like to recommend my books Solomon's Builders and Deciphering The Lost Symbol so you can bone up on the REAL Masonic background and history of Washington D.C.)

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