The Grail Code 
New Dan Brown movie needs a better script

The BBC reports that the writers’ strike has delayed the production of Angels and Demons, the “prequel” to The Da Vinci Code. It’s based on a book Dan Brown wrote before he wrote The Da Vinci Code, using the same hero and the same plot. Apparently “the script needs more work,” which is a bit of a puzzle for a number of reasons. First, couldn’t they just use the same script they used for The Da Vinci Code? I didn’t read Angels and Demons, but my wife (who read it for her book club at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop) tells me that a few global search-and-replace runs would take care of all the minor differences. Second, why does a script that needs more work bother them now if it didn’t when they made The Da Vinci Code? Third, doesn’t delaying until the script can be polished pose a slight danger that the fascination with all things Dan Brown could fizzle before the movie is released? Fourth, when you announce to the world that the script for a Dan Brown story isn’t quite good enough, aren’t you just inviting long paragraphs of dripping sarcasm from the grumposphere? Fifth, if you’re adapting “a novel so bad that it gives novels a bad name” (as Salman Rushdie said about The Da Vinci Code), isn’t a bad script what you actually want? And sixth, if you’re a writer struggling to make a living from your writing, can you avoid lapsing into unseemly grouchiness when you see the Dan Brown empire poised to make another few hundred million dollars? Apparently not.

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