"Angels & Demons" set for glitzy Rome premiere

Fri May 1, 2009 3:33pm EDT
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By Phil Stewart

ROME (Reuters) - After exposing a Church cover-up in "The Da Vinci Code," symbologist Robert Langdon returns to the big screen as an unlikely Vatican ally in the latest movie adaptation of a novel by author Dan Brown.

"Angels & Demons," again starring Tom Hanks as Langdon and directed by Ron Howard, premieres in Rome Monday at a theater a mile away from Vatican City.

In the film, Langdon is recruited by the Vatican after the pope dies and four cardinals who are favorites to succeed him are kidnapped.

Langdon races through the "Eternal City" deciphering clues linked to a centuries-old secret society, the Illuminati.

"He is not the man the Vatican trusts -- he is the man the Vatican needs," Howard said in production notes for the movie.

Ewan McGregor plays the central role of the "Camerlengo," or chamberlain, who runs the Vatican between the time of the pope's death and the election of his successor.

"He sees himself as a man who will do whatever it takes to save the Church from the Illuminati and everything they represent," McGregor said.

The film hits theatres in the United States on May 15.   Continued...

<p>Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer in a scene from "Angels &amp; Demons" in an image courtesy of Columbia Pictures. REUTERS/Handout</p>