'Angels' film crew banned from Vatican

June 19, 2008

TAORMINA, Italy (UPI) -- The Vatican said it will not allow filming of the new religious-themed mystery thriller "Angels & Demons" inside any of Rome's churches.

The Hollywood Reporter said the production, which stars Tom Hanks and is being helmed by U.S. director Ron Howard, has also been banned from entering the Holy See, the tiny city-state that includes St. Peter's Basilica, a key location in the Dan Brown book that inspired the movie.

"Angels" is the follow-up to the controversial 2006 blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code," which is also based on a religious-themed mystery novel penned by Brown.

Sony officially requested permission to film the second movie in Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria after the Vatican denied the production permission to shoot at St. Peter's, the entertainment industry trade paper said. However, those requests reportedly were also denied by the Vatican

"Traditionally, we read the script, but in this case that was not necessary," Father Marco Fibbi, spokesman for the Diocese of Rome, told The Hollywood Reporter. "The name Dan Brown was enough."

The film crew will still have access to open areas in Rome as long as they are not on Vatican grounds, Variety said.

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