'Langdon': NBC Takes A Crack At Dan Brown With 'Da Vinci Code' Prequel Series

Hollywood is taking another stab at cracking the code of Dan Brown's bestselling Robert Langdon novels. The fictional Harvard "symbology" professor with an exceptionally bad hairdo is heading to the small screen in the form of a prequel series at NBC. Based on Brown's thriller novel The Lost Symbol, the Langdon TV series will follow a young Robert Langdon during his early adventures as the world's most prominent symbologist. Now, we'll finally uncover the real mystery: Was Robert Langdon's hair always that bad?

Deadline broke the news that NBC has given a production commitment to Langdon, a drama series loosely based on Brown's 2009 novel The Lost Symbol. The series is being written and executive produced by Daniel Cerone (Motive, Constantine) under Imagine Television Studios, the TV arm of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment. Brown will also executive produce the Imagine TV, CBS TV and Universal TV co-production.

While The Last Symbol, Brown's third novel featuring the character of Langdon, is set after the events of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, the NBC series is reimagining the story as a prequel, presumably with a young, handsome actor taking on the role originated by Tom Hanks in the 2006 film The Da Vinci Code. Hopefully with the same bizarre wig.

Here's the logline for Langdon per Deadline:

Langdon follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who finds himself pulled into a series of deadly puzzles when his mentor is kidnapped. The CIA forces him onto a task force where he uncovers a chilling conspiracy.

The Last Symbol was previously developed as a movie adaptation at Sony following Angels & Demons before the studio went with Inferno, the fourth book in Brown's Robert Langdon series. Now the story has been conceived as a prequel with a potential to cover the events of even more of Brown's books, the latest of which was 2017's Origin.

My only question is: Why? Was anyone really hankering for a Robert Langdon TV series? The Da Vinci Code was a major box office hit, earning $217 million when it was released in 2006, but the series has only been a case of diminishing returns since then both financially and critically, with 2016's Inferno barely scraping $34 million domestically and the worst reviews of the series at 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. But the TV landscape today has been all about recognizable IPs, and Robert Langdon certainly is a household name amongst the over-40 dad crowd. Though it's unclear whether your dad will tune into Langdon if it's not starring Tom Hanks.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Inferno made $34 million worldwide. It has been updated to reflect that that number was actually its domestic total.