Better late than never? Sixteen years ago, the movie version of The Da Vinci Code insulted Christianity as a false faith, basing its claims on nonsense conspiracy theories from the 2003 Dan Brown novel. Well, Tom Hanks in a June 10, 2022 New York Times interview has now conceded that the film and book are nothing more than historical “hooey.”
Asked by journalist David Marchese about the movie and its sequels, Hanks admitted, “God, that was a commercial enterprise. Yeah, those Robert Langdon sequels are hooey. The Da Vinci Code was hooey.”
Openly mocking Brown and his claims, the movie star continued:
I mean, Dan Brown, God bless him, says, Here is a sculpture in a place in Paris! No, it’s way over there. See how a cross is formed on a map? Well, it’s sort of a cross. Those are delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage.
Offering some belated self-reflection, he concluded, “There’s nothing wrong with good commerce, provided it is good commerce. By the time we made the third one, we proved that it wasn’t such good commerce.”
Now, Hanks is known for starring and producing historical films such as Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers and others. In the interview, he asserts of himself: “I consider myself a student, I read history for pleasure.” It appears that the actor has known all along just how nonsensical The Da Vinci Code was.
But that didn’t stop him from taking the reported $18 million salary. In a May 17, 2006 column, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell noted the bizarre conspiracy theories at the heart of The Da Vinci Code:
Now witness the coming of the movie version of The DaVinci Code. Think of it as the anti-Passion. In one film, Jesus was Lord; in the other, Jesus was not only merely mortal, he was the center of an elaborate fraud. In one film, Jesus founded his Church at the Last Supper; in the other, the Catholic Church unfolds as a secretive, murderous, thoroughly evil conspiracy.
A 2006 study by NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham found that NBC promoted The Da Vinci Code with a whopping 99 segments. Graham wrote, “By far, the biggest Code promoter was NBC’s Today, which more provided more stories (38) than the other two network morning shows combined (29).”
Graham explained how the networks hid the offensive part of Da Vinci Code (the book and the movie):
While many noted the scandalous claim of a sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, only six stories explained the Code’s denial of the divinity of Jesus.
It’s right there, on page 233, the claim that the divinity of Jesus was not established in the Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection, but cynically manufactured at the early church’s Council of Nicaea in 325.
But now, 16 years later, Tom Hanks has realized that the whole conspiratorial, ahistorical premise of the movie is “hooey.” Keep that in mind the next time Hollywood offers up some film or series with shocking new historical claims.