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Idol chat: Ron Howard on Angles and Demons' controversy

May 24, 2009 03:34 AM IST India India
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Tom Hanks starer Angels and Demons, which grossed $46 million in its opening weekend in the US, has been dogged by controversy much like director Ron Howard's previous film in the series The Da Vinci Code. Based on Dan Brown's bestseller and set in and around the Vatican, Angels and Demons is fast paced adventure in which Hanks returns as Harvard's symbologist Robert Langdon who must rescue the Catholic Church from its old enemy - the powerful underground organisation the Illuminati. In the weeks leading up to release of the film, Angels and Demons found itself at the receiving end of severe criticism. An Italian Bishop denounced the film claiming it to be against the Vatican's values. A catholic church in the US declared it anti-catholic and in India the Censor Board invited Christian representatives to view the film before any decision could be taken on it. The film's director Ron Howard says he has no problems with criticisms, but wishes people would see the film before making a judgment about it. Here is the transcript of the interview with Ron Howard - Rajeev Masand: I remember meeting you at Cannes during making of The Da Vinci Code and you saying that you had anticipated feathers being ruffled the moment you decided to adapt the book. Did you expect a repeat of it when you got into Angels and Demons? Ron Howard: Probably, there is not much intensity. It has criticism of church but it is balanced in respect of respecting the faithful and the church. Rajeev Masand: I know the controversy doesn’t always hurt but does it really upset you? Ron Howard: Judgment of the movie doesn’t upset me but the frustration is when people speak about something they haven’t seen. So I would be silent there is criticism after watching the movie but when it is about the idea of the movie I scratch my hair because it doesn’t seem logical or fair to me. PAGE_BREAK Rajeev Masand: You also said that you believe the Vatican did what it could to create obstacles in the making of this film. Tell us how did you really feel that way? Ron Howard: We had a lot of cooperation here (Rome). We went through all procedure to get permission to shoot here but just a day or two before we were suppose to shoot in several places that had churches in the background we were adviced unofficially that it is going to be difficult to get the kind of cooperation. They were threats exactly so it brought a lot of confusion and problem and cost a lot of money so it was a challenge. Rajeev Masand: With these films and the character of Robert Langdon you have created a sense of adventure so are you committed to do the third book also? Ron Howard: I am not on papers contractually committed but emotionally I am excited. And I really like the way Robert Langdon’s character is evolving. So, I am very much inclined to do the third book. Rajeev Masand: Looking forward to that. Thank you.