the vine

Demonic duo: Hanks, Howard

Columbia Pictures has moved one step closer to reuniting "The Da Vinci Code" team of Tom Hanks and Ron Howard. Sources close to the project say that Hanks and Howard are in final negotiations to return for "Da Vinci" prequel "Angels & Demons." Internet rumors have been swirling that Hanks is about to receive Hollywood's biggest payday ever to reprise his role as Harvard professor Robert Langdon. Sony declined comment about the status of the highly anticipated project, which also derives from a Dan Brown best-seller. But sources say the studio, which benefited from "Da Vinci's" $758 million worldwide boxoffice haul, has set an early January start date and has hired A-list casting directors Jane Jenkins and Debbie McWilliams to fill out the thriller's supporting roles. Sources say the studio also is waiting for Akiva Goldsman to finish his adapted screenplay, which centers on Langdon, who becomes embroiled in murders involving the Illuminati and the Vatican. (Tatiana Siegel)

'Mummy' a wrap for Weisz

Rachel Weisz has dropped out of "The Mummy 3" for Universal Pictures.

The Oscar-winning actress has opted not to join her returning co-star Brendan Fraser in the China-set action-adventure, which will be helmed by Rob Cohen and will co-star Jet Li.

The studio cited scheduling conflicts for Weisz's decision not to reprise her role.  (Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit)