Sony's 'Angels' won't fly at Rome's churches

Access denied to St. Peter's, two other churches

TAORMINA, Italy -- 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 Dan Brown's "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 the 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 Fr. 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 sharp criticism from the Vatican for its depiction of the Church.