Tom Hanks returns as symbologist Langdon in ‘Inferno’


Tom Hanks reprises the role of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon in the film version of Dan Brown’s thriller “Inferno,” unlocking more mysterious codes as the world-famous character he describes as “the smartest guy in the room.”

“Inferno,” the latest in the blockbuster film franchise based on Brown’s religious-themed mystery novels that began with 2000’s “Angels and Demons,” centers on the “Divine Comedy,” the masterpiece by Italian poet Dante Alighieri. The plot sees Langdon follow a trail of clues about the poet in a race to save the world’s population from a deadly artificial plague.

Principal photography has begun on the film as production gets under way in Italy, with many of the scenes being shot in Florence’s most renowned buildings and piazzas.

Speaking during a photo call for the film in Florence on Monday, Hanks compared the role of Langdon to playing Sherlock Holmes. “… As a selfish actor, I don’t mind playing the smartest guy in the room. I don’t get to play the toughest guy, I don’t get to play the best-looking or … the tallest, but I do get to play the smartest guy in the room as Robert Langdon.”

The film, which also stars British actress Felicity Jones, is being directed by Ron Howard, who previously directed “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.”

“Each film has suggested a slightly different style and tone,” Howard said. “This one, I think, is much more modern, it’s edgier, the crisis that we are dealing with is very real and present and something that people talk about. … It’s a bit more modern cinematically in its approach.”

“Inferno” is scheduled for release next year.