CANNES: "Da Vinci Code" Director and Cast Speak

by | May 18, 2006 | Comments

"The Da Vinci Code" director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks said they hope audiences will enjoy the film and that it will spark discussion, but it shouldn’t be regarded as theology. The director and star, along with cast members Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellen, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina discussed the film at a press conference Tuesday.

Left to right: Paul Bettany, Jean Reno, Audrey Tautou, Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina

Hanks said the appeal of "The Da Vinci Code" for him was that it is the type of movie he would want to see in the theater.

"As a guy who likes to go see movies, I like two things," he said. "I certainly like crackerjack entertainment. At the same time, I want to be challenged somehow. I want to see movies that are provocative."

The film should be considered a fictional work to provoke thought, not something to be taken literally, Howard said.

"This is supposed to be entertainment," he said. "It’s not theology, and I don’t think it should be misunderstood as such. Yes, it stimulates conversation, but that’s what good fiction does. In that spirit, it’s ultimately a positive thing.

"Audiences are very, very intelligent, and I think they’re often underestimated," he continued. "I think they can arrive at their own conclusions. But one of the things that the movie and the book does underline is that life is a continuing mystery, and one of the gifts we have, from God, if you will, is our mind. We have a curiosity and a desire to explore and understand."

"I don’t think a motion picture of any sort of stripe, particularly one that’s obviously an entertainment, one that’s a commercial enterprise, that is going to specifically alter how anyone feels about their place in the universe," he said.

Still, Howard said he knows there are many — particularly devout Christians — who are wary of the film at best. He said that one solution is to avoid the movie.

"Given the nature of the story, there’s no question that the film is likely to be upsetting to some people," he said. "My advice is to not go see the movie if you think you’re going to be upset. Or wait — talk to someone who has seen it, discuss it, and then arrive at an opinion about the movie."

McKellen said he feels the controversy may have something to do with the medium.

"When the book came out, the controversy that you’re all interested in didn’t seem to exist," he said. "Is that because readers can be trusted to have minds, whereas people who go to see movies are the mindless masses that need to be protected? I believe cinemagoers are just as intelligent as readers, and they’ll make up their own minds. In the meantime, they’ll have a thoroughly fantastic time."

One of the other reasons the film might evoke passions is that it’s based on a popular book, Howard said.

"Certainly you’re taking on an adaptation of a novel with a high profile," he said.

But Howard said he’s not concerned about the box office numbers as much as he is telling a story. He also said he hasn’t read any reviews of "The Da Vinci Code," which is currently at 19 percent on the Tomatometer.

"I choose films because the subjects fascinate me and I’d like to spend a year and a half or two years of my life telling that story," he said. "I hope it’s successful, but I don’t choose movies based on that."

Hanks also addressed a lesser controversy that has swirled around "The Da Vinci Code" — his pseudo-mullet.

"It’s not up to me to decide whether I’m having a bad hair day," he said. "I trust the press to communicate that opinion around the world with lightning speed."

Tag Cloud

YouTube Premium psycho Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BBC medical drama AMC crime PBS TIFF 21st Century Fox adaptation Sci-Fi Tarantino diversity Amazon Prime Lionsgate Cartoon Network Photos Food Network SDCC based on movie war Film Festival Mindy Kaling El Rey Animation CW Seed Masterpiece nature comic Kids & Family Box Office Interview strong female leads green book USA E3 Mary poppins Comedy Quiz space comiccon Marathons adventure witnail Watching Series Mary Tyler Moore NYCC binge boxoffice Crackle American Society of Cinematographers SXSW streaming Nickelodeon miniseries thriller composers aliens DC Universe Vudu National Geographic Sony Pictures Esquire Christmas TV President Trophy Talk finale Hulu harry potter Infographic Ellie Kemper blaxploitation period drama Lucasfilm vampires 007 unscripted award winner mutant police drama Fantasy USA Network Mary Poppins Returns Syfy Martial Arts natural history Oscars Netflix Valentine's Day zero dark thirty OWN See It Skip It ESPN Mudbound crossover Thanksgiving Fox News teaser BET Drama Sundance Now 2015 ratings IFC Spectrum Originals Tomatazos biography Pixar Paramount Network 20th Century Fox elevated horror spider-man History Brie Larson Awards Winners 2018 Disney Logo Grammys YA Bravo Musicals Starz cats PaleyFest dceu MSNBC 2016 Premiere Dates psychological thriller crime thriller Mystery Acorn TV TBS theme song dragons Paramount Captain marvel Comic Book MTV Superheroes Stephen King Apple Star Trek transformers Rocky Year in Review Extras Comedy Central television Set visit VH1 social media New York Comic Con Musical Rom-Com GIFs DC Comics dramedy LGBTQ Sneak Peek Polls and Games GoT singing competition Elton John Video Games Nat Geo golden globes DGA BBC America 2017 Pet Sematary Nominations TCA Winter TV spy thriller Podcast Universal WGN Character Guide GLAAD HBO TCA 2017 sitcom cinemax casting A&E festivals 45 richard e. Grant jamie lee curtis Writers Guild of America TCM Rocketman Dark Horse Comics VICE Women's History Month justice league Pop Certified Fresh Superheroe TV Land cooking TLC serial killer Action Toys Tumblr Lifetime crime drama Trivia Chilling Adventures of Sabrina true crime Reality Competition Summer historical drama 24 frames Holidays RT21 zombies Columbia Pictures robots DC streaming service Music Best and Worst Spring TV FXX NBC Country Song of Ice and Fire Marvel Western Britbox CNN politics technology cults Comics on TV sequel E! Walt Disney Pictures Disney Channel Ovation Freeform Emmys CBS Sundance Shondaland Reality DirecTV TruTV Rock what to watch 2019 science fiction Horror hist disaster FX ABC Family Biopics MCU Adult Swim YouTube Red cops sports APB CMT travel ITV doctor who Awards Tour discovery Calendar Spike First Look talk show The CW Amazon Cannes docudrama Schedule Creative Arts Emmys Warner Bros. Opinion Teen facebook X-Men Fall TV anime supernatural ABC Cosplay anthology IFC Films Star Wars Super Bowl Black Mirror political drama Heroines The Arrangement Countdown Shudder The Witch Election Ghostbusters Pirates Showtime FOX Anna Paquin CBS All Access RT History San Diego Comic-Con Red Carpet Epix zombie SundanceTV TNT mockumentary Trailer dc romance