Da Vinci Code in full swing
Paris - Tom Hanks and the rest of the cast and crew of the upcoming movie The Da Vinci Code have started filming in Paris and are to take over the Louvre museum － a key location － late on Thursday, the producers said.
The $100m film version of the US novel penned by Dan Brown is due out in May next year.
It stars Hanks as its professorial hero Robert Langdon, who has to decipher a number of clues linked to historic works, including Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting, to crack a centuries-old secret protected by a mysterious and deadly sect.
French actors Audrey Tautou of Amelie fame and Jean Reno (The Professional, Godzilla) also feature in the movie, which is directed by Ron Howard, the onetime TV actor who made Cocoon, the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind and the upcoming Cinderella Man.
The Columbia-Sony studio behind the production has refused French media access to the locations.
Several books in France and in the US have highlighted inconsistencies and challenged the author's claim that every description in his book was based on fact.
Filming began late on Wednesday at the Ritz hotel in central Paris, according to Le Parisien newspaper.
It was to continue all night on Thursday at the nearby famous Louvre, where the Mona Lisa is kept, for the novel's opening scene in which the museum's fatally wounded director leaves a cryptic message for Langdon.
Hanks, Howard and their team will also be taking the camera to Britain for several location shoots, although officials there have refused to make Westminster Abbey available to recreate an important scene because the book's premise was considered theologically unsound.