Church shoots down Howard's 'Angels'

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The Vatican on Monday officially denied Sony's "Angels & Demons" the right to shoot inside any of Rome's churches or from entering the Holy See, the tiny city-state that includes St. Peter's Basilica.

The Vatican earlier denied director Ron Howard access to St. Peter's, where much of the story from the "Da Vinci Code" follow-up is set. But Sony officially requested permission to film in two other churches: Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria.

In Dan Brown's book, the protagonist, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), visits Santa Maria della Vittoria and sees a Cardinal being set on fire.

"Traditionally, we read the script, but in this case that was not necessary," said Marco Fibbi, spokesman for the Diocese of Rome. "The name Dan Brown was enough."

Sony had no comment on the decision.

The Rome shoot on the film, which began June 5, will still have access to open areas in Rome as long as they are not on Vatican grounds.

"Da Vinci," released in 2006, attracted Vatican criticism for its depiction of the Church. (partialdiff)
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