The Da Vinci Code (film)
The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American film produced by John Calley and Brian Grazer and directed by Ron Howard. The screenplay was written by Akiva Goldsman and adapted from Dan Brown's 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. The film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno, and Paul Bettany.
In the film, the protagonist, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconography and symbology from Harvard University is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. He escapes with the assistance of a police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and they are embroiled in a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. He is pursued by a dogged French police captain, Bezu Fache. A noted British Grail historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, tells them the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo Da Vinci's wall painting, the Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wishes to keep the true Grail a secret; the revelation of this secret would certainly destroy Christianity.
The film, like the book, was considered controversial. It was met with especially harsh criticism by the Roman Catholic Church for the accusation that it is behind a two-thousand-year-old coverup concerning what the Holy Grail really is and the concept that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and that the union produced a daughter. Many members urged the laity to boycott the film. Two secret organizations, the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei, whose existence is a polarizing issue, figure prominently in the story. In the book, Dan Brown insists that the Priory of Sion and "...all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate".
The film was met with largely negative critical response upon its release on May 19, 2006. However, this did little to hamper its box office performance; it earned US$230 million in its opening weekend and was the second highest-grossing film of 2006 behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
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