Case cracked: "The Da Vinci Code" will be the opening-night movie at the Cannes Film Festival in May, organizers said.

Based on Dan Brown's esoteric thriller about code-breaking and conspiracy, the film will debut at the Riviera festival and in French theaters on May 17, the festival said Saturday. The rest of the world will have to wait two days, until May 19.

The adaptation by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind") has an international cast led by Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.

Like the novel, the movie is set largely in France: The story line opens with the murder of the curator of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Early this month, the Louvre said the movie's producers were trying to decide between the museum and the Cannes festival as a site for the European premiere. The movie will not be in the running for prizes at Cannes.

Hong Kong's Wong Kar-wai, director of "In the Mood for Love," presides over this year's jury at the festival, which runs May 17-28. Organizers at the glitzy festival try to strike a balance between crowd-pleasers and critically acclaimed films, and between Hollywood blockbusters and art house flicks.