Ben Foster Joining Tom Hanks in 'Inferno' (Exclusive)

Ben Foster, Tom Hanks
AP Images/Invision

Ron Howard is directing the adaptation of the Dan Brown novel.

Ben Foster is in negotiations to play a key villainous role in Inferno, Sony and Imagine Entertainment’s latest Dan Brown adaptation.

Tom Hanks is once again starring as symbologist Robert Langdon and Ron Howard is back in the director’s chair.

Felicity Jones, Omar Sy and Irrfan Khan also are in the cast.

The story sees Langdon drawn into a conspiracy to unleash a deadly plague centered on Dante's Inferno, the 14th century epic poem about the nine circles of hell.

Foster will play a genius scientist who is obsessed with Inferno and has also dreamed up a plot to solve the world’s overpopulation problem by releasing a virus.

An April start in Europe is being eyed.

Brian Grazer is producing with Imagine's Anna Culp exec producing.

Foster, who last appeared Peter Berg’s war movie Lone Survivor, has several films in the can, among them Icon, Stephen FrearsLance Armstrong biopic with Foster in the title role.

He is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek.

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