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Vatican expresses disapproval of "Angels & Demons"

 U.S. actor Tom Hanks, Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer and U.S. director Ron Howard (L-R) attend a photocall to promote the movie
U.S. actor Tom Hanks, Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer and U.S. director Ron Howard (L-R) attend a photocall to promote the movie 'Angels & Demons', premiering May 15, at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva February 12, 2009. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud
— image credit: Reuters

By Eric J. Lyman

ROME (Hollywood Reporter) - The Vatican might be gearing up for an official call for a boycott of "Angels & Demons," Ron Howard's big-budget follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code."

Avvenire, the Vatican's official newspaper, ran a story in Friday's edition noting that the Church "cannot approve" of such a problematic film. The Turin daily La Stampa, meanwhile, said the Vatican would soon call for a boycott of the film, though the same article also quoted Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, who warned against a "boomerang effect" that could call attention to the film and eventually make it more popular.

The Vatican press office declined comment on the reports when contacted.

Producers requested permission from Church officials to film parts of "Angels & Demons" in the Vatican, but were denied.

Scores of Church officials called for a boycott of "The Da Vinci Code" when it was released in 2006, but that had little effect on the popularity of the thriller, which is based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. The film earned an estimated $760 million in worldwide box-office receipts.

"Angels & Demons" features many of the same characters as "The Da Vinci Code," but the story itself takes place before the events portrayed in the earlier film. The film is set to open worldwide May 15.

(please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or on http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)

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