Category Archives: Da Vinci Code

Columbia Begins Work on Lost Symbol Movie

Warren Bellamy: A role made for Morgan Freeman?

The movie version of The Lost Symbol is starting to take shape. Columbia PIctures recently announced that Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) has signed to write the screenplay. Ron Howard and Tom “Robert Langdon” Hanks are yet to sign contracts, but their agreement is doubtless close at hand.

Columbia must be hoping the trio can come up with a better movie than last year’s Angels and Demons, which grossed a paltry $486 million compared to 2006’s Da Vinci Code movie, which grossed $758 million.

No word yet on who will play Warren Bellamy in The Lost Symbol. But the movie’s casting director is in for a tough job if Morgan Freeman says no.

And what about the problem of casting Katherine Solomon? Columbia bosses must be scratching their heads about finding a box office draw to play a female lead who, in the novel, is a few years older than Robert Langdon. Perhaps they should look no further than Meryl Streep? She has had quite a run lately, playing everything from an older woman having an affair with her ex-husband to a vivacious (and slightly potty) Julia Child. Surely, noetic scientist is within her range.

What do you think? Is Tom Hanks the best man to fill Robert Langdon’s shoes? Who would you like to see play Katherine Solomon? And is anyone other than Morgan Freeman capable of playing Warren Bellamy?

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The Red Book by Jung and The Lost Symbol

The publication of C.G. Jung’s The Red Book, one of the world’s most long-awaited books, is interestingly timed in the same season that The Lost Symbol has been published.

Dan Brown fans waited six years for a sequel to The Da Vinci Code, but Jung devotees have been waiting more than forty years since Jung’s death in 1961 to peek into his personal cosmology and his most private and secretive thoughts.

The Red Book is Jung’s own personal diary of his dreams, revelations, meditations, brainstorming sessions with himself, etc. The focus is very much on symbols and archetypes, and the attempt to wrestle with the meaning of life, personal experience, dreams, and visions as seen through the prism of myth and archetype. Although Robert Langdon, Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol protagonist, lacks emotional depth—certainly nothing approaching the power of Jung’s insights into the self and the psyche–he would be right at home in the world of Jung’s efforts to decode symbols and find meaning in archetypes.

For more, see Kathryn Harrison’s New York Times Book Review of The Red Book and Michael Dirda’s Washington Post review.

The Pope’s Pantheon and The Dotted O

A brilliant young computer programmer and code-breaker we know, Billy Gates, reports to us that if some of the numeric sequences on the cover of The Lost Symbol are run through substitution code analysis, it yields multiple possible pairings of words.

When you eliminate the nonsense pairings you are left with only a few likely solutions, the most intriguing of these being “Pope’s Pantheon.”

We expect there to be a number of interesting codes embedded by Dan Brown on the cover of The Lost Symbol and throughout the book.

In my book, Secrets of the Widow’s Son, I explored the subject of pantheons. A pantheon can be any structure intended for the worship of multiple gods. So it is appropriate to keep thinking of that functional definition, without insisting that it fit a physical design.

Dan Brown may have been intrigued when he researched his novels to discover the Panthéon, in Paris, which was the final resting place of Enlightenment thinkers Voltaire and Rousseau and a prominent building during the period when Jefferson visited the French capital.

However, the greatest example of a pantheon, the Pantheon of Rome–which featured prominently in Angels and Demons–is a special design, incorporating a pronounced circular portion and a rectangular portion (the portico). The circular part has a hole in the center of the domed roof called an oculus.

In his books, Dan Brown has called attention to the use of “round churches” by Templars and others, and he set part of the plot of The Da Vinci Code in the Temple Church of London, a genuine Templar church, which has a circular nave attached to a rectangular chancel.

There is a basic echo here in the idea of something round, married to something rectangular or square. If you just keep that concept in mind, you begin to see reverberations everywhere, but particularly in Washington, DC.

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The Story Begins

House of the Temple
8:33 P.M.

The secret is how to die.

Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die.

The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms. The skull was hollow, like a bowl, filled with bloodred wine.

Drink it, he told himself. You have nothing to fear.

And so begins The Lost Symbol, opening with a masonic ceremony in the House of the Temple, in Washington D.C.

The fact-packed prologue and first chapter of Dan Brown’s latest story can be found in the UK’s Mail on Sunday (print only) and Parade magazine.

The excerpts give nothing away that we did not know already. Freemasonry, DC and the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry were always going to play a central role.

But Brown’s allusion, in Chapter 1, to the furore the Da Vince Code caused did bring a smile to our face.

“My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church! What a delicious scandal that one caused! You do enjoy putting the fox in the henhouse!”

Langdon smiled. “Scandal wasn’t really my intention.”

‘The Lost Symbol’: Prologue and Chapter 1 (Parade)

Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol.