's controversial best-selling novel about a powerful secret that's been kept under wraps for thousands of years comes to the screen in this suspense thriller from director Ron Howard
. The stately silence of Paris' Louvre museum is broken when one of the gallery's leading curators is found dead on the grounds, with strange symbols carved into his body and left around the spot where he died. Hoping to learn the significance of the symbols, police bring in Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou
), a gifted cryptographer who is also the victim's granddaughter. Needing help, Sophie calls on Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks
), a leading symbologist from the United States. As Sophie and Robert dig deeper into the case, they discover the victim's involvement in the Priory of Sion, a secret society whose members have been privy to forbidden knowledge dating back to the birth of Christianity. In their search, Sophie and Robert happen upon evidence that could lead to the final resting place of the Holy Grail, while members of the priory and an underground Catholic society known as Opus Dei give chase, determined to prevent them from sharing their greatest secrets with the world. Also starring Ian McKellen, Jean Reno
, and Alfred Molina
, The Da Vinci Code
was shot on location in France and the United Kingdom; the Louvre allowed the producers to film at the famous museum, but scenes taking place at Westminster Abbey had to filmed elsewhere when church officials declined permission.