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The Da Vinci Code disclaimer denied

Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in The Da Vinci Code

Story by Jack Foley

RON Howard, the director of the film version of The Da Vinci Code, has rejected calls for his film to carry a disclaimer making clear it is a work of fiction, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Insisting that the film was “not theology or history”, he pointed out that spy thrillers don’t start off with disclaimers – so there was no need to place one on his film.

But his remarks have upset the Roman Catholic group, Opus Dei, which had been calling for the disclaimer to be added as a show of good faith.

A US spokesman hit back: “A disclaimer could have been a way to show [Sony Pictures] wants to be fair and respectful in its treatment of Christians.”

The Da Vinci Code is based upon Dan Brown’s controversial best-seller and includes the claim that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children.

It adds that the Catholic Church has subsequently been covering up the truth ever since and has gone down a storm with conspiracy theorists of all generations.

Opus Dei, which is mentioned repeatedly throughout the text, had asked producers to begin the film with an announcement stating that “any similarity with reality is purely coincidental”.

But Howard said that his film would clearly be seen as a work of fiction involving a set of conspiracy theories and ideas that were presented to its central characters.

As the May 19 release date approaches for the film, the controversy surrounding it and the novel continues to intensify.

In the latest twist, a leading cardinal has urged Christians to take legal action against both Brown’s book and Howard’s film, insisting that it wasn’t enough for Christians to sit back and forgive.

The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, is to receive its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Read our review of the film
Read our review of the novel