ANGELS & DEMONS

USA - 2009

director.gif (905 bytes)  Ron Howard
 

CAST

Tom Hanks.- Robert Langdon
Ayelet Zurer - Vittoria Vetra
 Ewan McGregor - Carlo Ventrasca
Stellan
Skarsgård - Richter

 

 

PREMIERING

May 15, 2009


SYNOPSIS

Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati - the most powerful underground organization in history. However, when he learns that the clock is ticking on an unstoppable Illuminati time bomb, he jets to Rome and joins forces with Vittoria Vetra (played by Ayelet Zurer) - a beautiful and enigmatic Italian scientist. Embarking on a nonstop, action-packed hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even to the heart of the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that mark the Vatican's only hope for survival.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRODUCTION NOTES:

The adaptation of Dan Brown's novel, ANGELS & DEMONS, continues the sleuthing adventures of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a Harvard expert in religious symbols who discovers a conspiracy to destroy the Vatican. Its predecessor, "The Da Vinci Code", collected $758 million worldwide, but even producer Brian Grazer says the movie moved a little slowly. In adapting "Da Vinci", Grazer admits, "We got all the facts of the book right, but the movie was a little long and stagey."  In the new film opening May 15, 2009, he says, "Langdon doesn't stop and give a speech. When he speaks, he's in motion. This one is more dynamic. It's an action movie." Set in and around the Vatican, the film will include the murders of cardinals, who are mutilated with mysterious symbols. Church officials banned the crew from shooting in key locales, sometimes revoking permits that had been approved. Exteriors were shot quickly in Rome, and elaborate sets were built to replicate the Vatican and other churches at Los Angeles.

Paul Dergarabedian of box office tracking frim Media by Numbers says "Angels" will need to impress critics if it hopes to find success. "'Da Vinci' didn't get great reviews, but had controversy to help the box office," he says. "Better reviews could make up that difference." That doesn't mean the film won't generate any controversy. We're living in a world that's much more unstable," Grazer says. "Therefore, our energy is focused on belief. This looks at what would happen when you have an act of terrorism designed to undermine that belief." He admits, "This is the hardest movie Ron (Howard) has ever shot. Not only because of being exiled from the Vatican, but it's darker subject matter." Grazer describes their earlier film, The Da Vinci Code, as "a puzzle movie. It wasn't a contemporary movie. It was a little static. This one is more dynamic. It's an action movie."  [The photo with Stellan was taken from the online teaser trailer]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)ON LOCATION PHOTOS:
 

 

button_box.gif (205 bytes)MOVIE STILLS:
 

PRAISE FOR STELLAN:

"Skarsgård, Mueller-Stahl (as a cardinal) and Favino are marvellously shadowy."  ...Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

"Just as 'The Da Vinci Code' was rescued, or at least mitigated, by the twinkling nonsense of Ian McKellen, so is 'Angels & Demons' kicked into something like life by the histrionic professionalism of Armin Mueller-Stahl, Stellan Skarsrd and Ewan McGregor."  ...A.O. Scott, NY Times

"Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsrd , and Armin Mueller-Stahl edge this adaptation of Dan Brown's novel a couple notches above pulp."   ...Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

"Ewan McGregor offers a complex turn as the Camerlengo, the Pope’s number two and acting head of the Vatican during this period, while Stellan Skarsgård brings authority to his role as head of the Swiss Guard. And veteran Armin Mueller-Stahl is simply terrific as a wise and dignified Cardinal at the center of the papal conflict."   ...Pete Hammond, Hollywood.com

"Hanks is more engaged this time, and McGregor, Skarsrd and Mueller-Stahl give formidable support."   ...Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

"The rabidly conventional Swiss Guard is led by chief watchdog Commander Richter, played by the consistently impressive Stellan Skarsrd."  ...Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly

"Talented character actors like Stellan Skarsgård as the head of the Vatican's Swiss Guard and Armin Mueller-Stahl as the cardinal in charge of the electoral process make it clear that not everything is as cut-and-dried as one might think from the generally simple plot."   ...Edward Douglas, Coming Soon

"Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård and Armin Mueller-Stahl among the estimable supporting cast, all of whom have enjoyed the benefits of stronger material but manage to supply gravitas nonetheless." ...Christy Lemire, Associated Press

"Ewan McGregor injects plenty of complexity as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, Stellan Skarsgård has fine screen presence as Commander Richter and Armin Mueller-Stahl is a welcome addition as Cardinal Strauss, who believes in gentleness."   ...Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile

"Stalwarts like Armin Mueller-Stahl and Skarsgård add heft as do young Danish actors - Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Brothers and Open Hearts) as the assassin and Thure Lindhardt (Flame & Citron) as an ardent Swiss Guard."   ...Mike Goodridge, Screen Daily

"Stellan Skargård’s character is primed and Skargård keeps the audience guessing."   ...Spling Movies

"'Oh, good, the symbologist has arrived' says a droll Swiss Guard Commander Richter (Stellan Skarsgård), whose biting skepticism helps keep the pompous in perspective. He's not the only actor who seems to be telegraphing that 'Angels & Demons' shouldn't be taken all that seriously."   ...Betsy Sharkey, LA Times

"Great support from the ever-capable Stellan Skarsgård and Armin Mueller-Stahl."   ...Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

"Also in the cast are the great Stellan Skarsgård as the head of the Swiss Guard and Armin Mueller-Stahl, all glinting eyes and pursed lips, as a cardinal maneuvering to be pope."  ...James Verniere, Boston Herald

"Talents such as Ewan McGregor, Stellan  Skarsgård and Armin Mueller-Stahl bring conviction but little shading to this melodrama."  ...Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun

"With Stellan Skarsgård and Armin Mueller-Stahl along for additional heft, 'Angels and Demons' surely feels more important. Too bad the story seems so slight.  ...Bill Gibron, Pop Culture

"The constant cutting from angle to new angle makes it difficult to appraise or appreciate the performances – which is a pity because in Skarsgård, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Thure Lindhardt, Howard has assembled an impressive supporting cast of northern European acting talent."  ...Wendy Ide, Times (UK)

"As the assorted Vatican members, you could hardly ask for three more intriguing and interesting actors than McGregor, Skarsgård and Mueller-Stahl but, having asked for them, Howard wastes their talents with roles so artlessly created that it seems almost an insult to ask them to waste their gifts on trying to make something out of them."  ...Peter Sobcynski, Efilmcritic.com