Ron Howard Won’t Direct The Lost Symbol

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Ron Howard will return to the world of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon only as a producer, Deadline reports. A new director is being sought to helm the third installment in the popular “Da Vinci Code” franchise, The Lost Symbol. The plot of the third book is officially described as follows.

“The Lost Symbol” is a masterstroke of storytelling–a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths… all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., “The Lost Symbol” accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object–artfully encoded with five symbols–is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation… one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon–a prominent Mason and philanthropist–is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations–all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

The Howard-directed The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons both featured Tom Hanks in the lead role of Langdon. Though no official announcement has been made, Hanks is expected to return for The Lost Symbol, which will feature a script from Eastern Promises author Steven Knight and Brown himself.