LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown has made a living unraveling secrets, but on Thursday one of his own secrets was revealed by a close collaborator, who said the writer's next book is finished.
Celebrity television show "Entertainment Tonight" said movie director Ron Howard told the program in an interview that Brown has completed his third book based on the fictional, mystery-solving Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon.
Howard made the 2006 film adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code" with Tom Hanks playing Langdon.
But late in the day, a spokeswoman for Brown's publisher Doubleday, would say only that Brown "is making great progress," stopping short of a full confirmation or denial.
"We do not yet have a title or publication date to share," added spokeswoman Suzanne Herz. Doubleday is a unit of Bertelsmann AG.
Since the release of "The Da Vinci Code" in 2003, Brown's fans have eagerly awaited another Langdon novel. Early word it is finished would mean the book might soon hit retail shelves.
"The Da Vinci Code" was wildly popular, selling more than 70 million copies and topping best-seller lists worldwide. But it outraged the Vatican and some Catholics because of the fictional storylines about conspiracy and the Catholic Church.
Howard spoke with "Entertainment Tonight" in Geneva on the set of "Angels and Demons," another movie based on a Brown novel featuring Hanks as Langdon. The film is due out May 15.
Howard said he had not read Brown's latest completed work, but that he looked forward to it.
Other media outlets have reported that Brown's next book, has the working title "The Solomon Key," is based in Washington, D.C., and centers on the Freemasons.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte