Religious expert and scientist: Tom Hanks stars with Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer in Angels & Demons, due May 15.
Intelligently designed: Filmmakers had hoped to shoot Angels at the Vatican and inside Roman churches. But Brown’s Angels, which includes the murder of two cardinals, was quickly shut down by the church. “This movie was strangely harder to shoot than Da Vinci Code, even though there’s less controversy,” says producer Brian Grazer. Exteriors were shot quickly in Rome, and elaborate sets were built to replicate the Vatican and other churches at Los Angeles studios.
Faith under fire: Ewan McGregor plays Carlo Ventresca, the faithful servant to the church during the papal conclave in Vatican City. Grazer says the movie examines the conflict between science and God, particularly when faith is tested by violence. “This is the hardest movie Ron (Howard) has ever shot,” Grazer says. “Not only because of being exiled from the Vatican, but it’s darker subject matter.”
Digging deeper: Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks, left), Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Chartrand (Thure Lindhart) and Carlo Ventrasca (Ewan McGregor) examine clues in Angels. Grazer describes their earlier film, The Da Vinci Code, as “a puzzle movie. It wasn’t a contemporary movie. It was a little static. This one is more dynamic. It’s an action movie.” (Images and Text Reprinted from USA Today)