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Da Vinci.. in fest

The movie version of Ron Howard's best-selling book will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 17.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 20:30 IST

The movie version of best-selling book

The Da Vinci Code

, directed by Ron Howard, will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, two days before its worldwide release, the organisers said in a statement.

The thriller, produced by Brian Grazer and John Calley for Colombia Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, will be not be competing for a festival award, said the statement Saturday evening.

Dan Brown's book, about a series of high-profile murders behind a Vatican plot to conceal the true meaning of the Holy Grail, has sold more than 30 million copies in around 40 languages and provoked criticism from the Roman Catholic Church and historians.

Producers invested 100 million dollars in the film version of the book, which stars US two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, French favourites Audrey Tatou and Jean Reno, and British actors Sir Ian Mckellen and Alfred Molina.

US director Ron Howard came to the Cannes Film Festival for Willow in 1988, Far and Away in 1992 and Ed TV in 1999. He won a best film Oscar for A beautiful mind in 2002.

The Da Vinci Code will be released in France on the same day as it opens the 59th Cannes Film Festival, that will take place from 17 to 28 May.