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Tom Hanks Calls ‘Da Vinci Code’ Trilogy ‘Hooey,’ Not ‘Good Commerce’ at the End

"Those are delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage."

Inferno Tom Hanks Felicity Jones


Columbia Pictures

Tom Hanks has cracked “The Da Vinci Code”…and dubbed it “hooey.”

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Oscar winner Hanks called the Ron Howard-helmed trilogy “as cynical as a crossword puzzle” and an outrageous adventure story ripe for the box office. The franchise kicked off in 2006 before spurring two sequels, “Angels & Demons” and “Inferno.”

“God, that was a commercial enterprise,” Hanks said. “Yeah, those Robert Langdon sequels are hooey. ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was hooey.”

Hanks continued, “I mean, [author] Dan Brown, God bless him, says, ‘Here is a sculpture in a place in Paris! No, it’s way over there. See how a cross is formed on a map? Well, it’s sort of a cross.’ Those are delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage…All we were doing is promising a diversion.”

And while Hanks said he has no problem with franchises, they’d better deliver at the box office.

“There’s nothing wrong with good commerce, provided it is good commerce,” the “Elvis” star added. “By the time we made the third [film, Inferno], we proved that it wasn’t such good commerce.”

The trilogy made almost $1.5 billion worldwide at the box office before concluding in 2016, though the sequels consecutively saw diminishing returns on investment and even worse reviews. Still, Hanks has no complaint about being part of “The Da Vinci Code” legacy.

“Let me tell you something else about ‘The Da Vinci Code’,” Hanks told NYT. “It was my 40th-something birthday. We were shooting in the Louvre at night. I changed my pants in front of the Mona Lisa! They brought me a birthday cake in the Grand Salon! Who gets to have that experience? Any cynicism there? Hell no!”

“The Da Vinci Code” continued thanks to the Peacock spin-off series “The Lost Symbol” which debuted in 2021, with Ashley Zuckerman taking over the role of Robert Langdon. Its reception wasn’t much better than the movies. IndieWire’s Kristen Lopez gave the series a D-rating, writing, “Robert Langdon isn’t a character you’d ever call charismatic, no matter how hard Tom Hanks tried. ‘The Lost Symbol’ just never feels as adventurous and ambitious as its source material, and maybe that’s because the entire affair feels five years too late.”

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