Tom Hanks to shoot Da Vinci Code prequel next Feb

Tom Hanks will start shooting the prequel to The Da Vinci Code next February.

The Oscar-winning actor – who will reprise his role as code-cracking Harvard professor Robert Langdon – will travel to Europe to film the big screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s hit novel Angels + Demons next year.

The story follows Langdon’s efforts to uncover a plot by a secret society to blow up Vatican City and threaten the future of the Catholic Church.

Ron Howard, who directed 2006’s The Da Vinci Code, will helm the Sony Pictures project.

Akiva Goldsman has also been asked back to write the screenplay following his successful adaptation of The Da Vinci Code.

Howard, Goldsman and producers Brian Grazer and John Calley, are desperate to finalise the script by next week, as a writer’s strike is due to begin on 1 November.

The team will be working to a strict shooting schedule next year, as a potential strike by actors and directors is being touted for June.

Sony Pictures are hoping to repeat the success of the first film, which took a staggering USD758 million at the worldwide box office, when the movie hits cinemas in December 2008.