The original proposal was to use The Da Vinci Code as the basis for an episode of the TV drama 24. Dan Brown nixed the idea and held out for movie treatment.
Instead of Audrey Tautou, we could have been watching Kate Beckinsale as Sophie Neveu. Tautou, who is much better known in France (A Very Long Engagement), apparently had stiff competition, which also included Juliette Binoche.
The movie goes one better than the bookit shows a tension-filled struggle to decode an anagram that Neveu solves in a flash in the print version. The anagram is So dark the con of man, which she decodes brilliantly as Madonna of the Rocks.
One of the leading actors went from a crazed lunatic with tentacles fused to his spine to a suave Roman Catholic bishop. That would be Alfred Molina (Aringarosa), who starred as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2.
Tom Hanks has a completely new hairstyle. Hey, long hair looks professorial.
Tom Hanks was the choice for Robert Langdon from Day 1. Ron Howard's original choice for the part was reportedly Bill (Big Love, Titanic) Paxton.
The film debuts May 19. Actually, if you're lucky enough to snag an invitation to the Cannes Film Festival, you can watch it two days earlier.
Westminster Abbey is just as impressive on film as it was in the book. In fact, church authorities decided the movie was "theologically unsound," so Ron Howard used Lincoln Cathedral instead.
Opus Dei wants a boycott of the movie. Instead, the group is fighting back with blogs and more conciliatory tactics, such as asking for a restrictive movie rating so minors aren't unduly influenced by it.
The fact that the book doesn't have a proper ending spells doom for the movie. Heywe don't want to give everything away ...