Louvre May OK Shooting of 'Da Vinci' Code

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Scenes for the film adaptation of the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" (search) can, in principle, be shot in the Louvre (search), but details must still be worked out, the director of the famed museum said Friday.

"There is really a very strong desire to see the movie for this book, which has world renown, shot in the Louvre," Henri Loyrette told France-Inter radio. "It is a yes in principle from our side."

Filming the adaptation of Dan Brown's mystical thriller is expected to start in June, with Oscar-winner Ron Howard directing. Tom Hanks (search) will play Robert Langdon, a symbologist in a race to solve the murder of an elderly member of an ancient society that has protected dark secrets since the early years of Christianity.

"The Louvre is not a movie set. It is a place that receives an average of 20,000 visitors a day," Loyrette said. "That means the times really available for shooting are Tuesday closing day and nights.

"All the discussions must be taken up with the production because it is bound to be a busy shoot, with financial implications," he said.

Talks should begin very soon, he added. Sony Pictures has said it plans to release the film May 19, 2006.

"The Da Vinci Code" will mark Hanks' third collaboration with Howard and his producing partner Brian Grazer. The three previously worked together on "Splash" and "Apollo 13."

Howard won a best-director Oscar in 2002 for "A Beautiful Mind."

"The Da Vinci Code" is a mix of code-breaking, art history, secret societies, religion and lore, all wrapped up in short, fast-paced chapters. Several other books have tried to debunk its contentious allegations — namely, that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and sired a bloodline.