Date: 5th May 2009

Vatican 'hampered new Hanks film'

Ron Howard has accused the Vatican of trying to hamper the filming of his new movie, Angels & Demons (2009), starring Tom Hanks.

The movie sequel to author Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, The (2006) features symbolist Robert Langdon helping to rescue four kidnapped cardinals.

But Howard said the Vatican exerted its influence "through back channels" to prevent filming near certain churches.

A Vatican spokesman said the director's claims were purely a publicity stunt.

Howard told a news conference: "When you come to film in Rome, the official statement to you is that the Vatican has no influence. "

Source: Press Release