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Da Vinci Code fever sweeps Cannes

The movie is already catching the imagination of the tourists surveying the preparations in Cannes.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 14:09 IST

As this year's Cannes film festival prepares to open, there's no mistaking its main feature.

The Da Vinci Code, the movie, is dominating the programme, as it already has the imagination of tens of millions of readers around the world.

The film, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, is to get its world premiere and the full red carpet treatment in this chic French seaside resort late tomorrow when it officially kicks off the 12-day festival.

The stars and director Ron Howard are to arrive in Cannes later today by special train from London just ahead of a projection for some of the 5,000 accredited journalists.

There's no doubting the $125-million-dollar movie is headed for instant blockbuster status; the 50 million copies of the book already sold ensure a ready market.

But Howard, talking to French television as part of a publicity blitz, made it clear that he considers the story "a work of fiction".

Hanks, who plays the hero, Robert Langford, told the French edition of Premiere magazine that Da Vinci author Dan Brown participated in early readings of the script with the cast.

"We threw a lot of questions at him, and each of his answers raised new questions. The man's a living encyclopedia," he said.

In Cannes, tourists surveying the preparations for the glitzy festival confirmed that the one film they'd heard about in the line-up was The Da Vinci Code.