Tom Hanks’ portrayal of Robert Langdon in the film adaptations of the Dan Brown novels has polarised fans of the source material. Although they received generally negative reviews from critics due to Ron Howard’s directorial style, the films continued to make enormous profits and were huge commercial successes.
In a recent interview, Hanks claimed that the only thing that makes up for his disappointing involvement in the film series was the opportunity of taking off his pants in front of the Mona Lisa during the filming of The Da Vinci Code. The actor launched a scathing attack against the franchise and claimed it was nothing other than a money-making venture.
“God, that was a commercial enterprise,” Hanks said. “Yeah, those Robert Langdon sequels are hooey. The Da Vinci Code was hooey.” According to the actor, the films are designed to be nothing more than “delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage.”
Hanks also criticised Brown’s novels and their general narrative structure: “I mean, Dan Brown, God bless him, says, ‘Here is a sculpture in a place in Paris! No, it’s way over there. See how a cross is formed on a map? Well, it’s sort of a cross.’ But they’re as cynical as a crossword puzzle. All we were doing is promising a diversion.”
He revealed that the only reason the film adaptations stopped coming out was that the producers realised that the project no longer had its appeal. “There’s nothing wrong with good commerce, provided it is good commerce,” Hanks added. “By the time we made the third, we proved that it wasn’t such good commerce.”