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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

NBC's Streamer Peacock Orders 'Dan Brown's Langdon' As Regular Series

by Christopher Hodapp

PeacockTV, NBC's new subscription streaming TV service, has announced that they have ordered the TV pilot based on Dan Brown's Masonic-themed thriller, The Lost Symbol, to be picked up as a continuing series, to be entitled Dan Brown's Langdon.

The pilot was initially planned to air on the NBC broadcast network, but now the series will be a flagship show for the Peacock pay streaming service.

The story line of the novel has been shifted to occur before The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons. Ashley Zuckerman portrays symbologist Robert Langdon shortly after his graduation from Harvard (and much younger than Tom Hanks' version in three previous theatrical films of Brown's novels). Langdon must solve a twisted mystery to save his university mentor, Peter Solomon (played by comedian and actor, Eddie Izzard) and prevent a mysterious nemesis from unleashing terrible destruction on Washington, D.C.

Brown's hotly anticipated novel The Lost Symbol was released in 2009, and centered around many Masonic clues and landmarks in Washington, including the Scottish Rite SJ's House of the Temple headquarters. Masons everywhere enjoyed the novel and the public spotlight it brought to the fraternity, but were disappointed when Hollywood passed over it as a big-money picture to make Inferno instead.
Peacock issued the following press release on Friday:
Peacock has ordered the gripping drama thriller “Dan Brown’s Langdon” to series, based on the world-renowned author’s international bestselling novel “The Lost Symbol.”

“Dan Brown’s Langdon” is produced by CBS Studios, Imagine Television Studios and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie will serve as writers and executive producers for the series.

Dan Brown, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Samie Kim Falvey and Anna Culp also serve as executive producers.

The drama project was originally developed by NBC and was ordered to pilot last year by the network.

“The team was blown away by this pilot and its enormous potential to become a big, binge-worthy hit, and our new structure enables us to move it to Peacock and give it every opportunity to make that happen,” said Susan Rovner, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Our ability to pick up a great show is no longer limited by the confines of a network schedule, giving us the freedom to say ‘yes’ to shows we love and then find them the perfect home across our portfolio.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Ron and Brian again on another Langdon project,” said Dan Brown. “We’ve all wanted to make ‘The Lost Symbol’ for some time now, and I’m grateful to CBS Studios, Imagine Television Studios, Universal Television and Peacock for joining forces to make this project a reality. Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie have written a phenomenally captivating script, and the casting and performances are pitch perfect.”

Based on Dan Brown’s international bestselling thriller “The Lost Symbol,” the series follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who must solve a series of deadly puzzles to save his kidnapped mentor and thwart a chilling global conspiracy.

The cast includes Ashley Zukerman (“Succession”), Valorie Curry (“Blair Witch”), Sumalee Montano (“10 Cloverfield Lane”), Rick Gonzalez (“Arrow”), Eddie Izzard (“Ocean’s Thirteen”) and Beau Knapp (“Seven Seconds”).

The Langdon pilot was actually shot principally in Toronto, Canada last year, but production was halted for some time because of the COVID pandemic shutdowns. The U.S. Capitol rotunda was recreated on a soundstage there, and I'm told there was Masonic input on the project.

Still no announcement of an air date.

While you wait, I'll make a shameless plug for my 2009 book, Deciphering The Lost Symbol, which is a Masonic guide to Brown's novel. Get a leg up on everybody else before Langdon hits the airwaves. It talks about Masonic symbolism and history that appears in the fictional story, plus the real Masonic locations and landmarks in and around Washington, D.C. Available from Amazon.


1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I have to admit that Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code" was one of the factors in my decision to become a Freemason. Little did I know how far I would travel!

    I enjoyed "The Lost Symbol" and look forward to seeing it on Paramount+


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