Star Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard are close to deals to return for the sequel to their critically maligned blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code."
According to The Hollywood Reporter -- scurrying after a story first reported online -- Sony hopes to have "Angels & Demons" in front of cameras by January.
The CinemaBlend website reported earlier in the week that the Hanks and Howard deals would be record-breaking, though naturally the studio won't confirm that kind of information for the trade paper.
Akiva Goldsman still has to turn in his script based on Dan Brown's novel, which preceded "The Da Vinci Code" in the literary world, but will probably have its timeframe shifted for the big screen. In the book, code-breaking Harvard egg-head Robert Langdon (Hanks) finds himself in the midst of a series of murders connected to the Vatican and to the shady Illuminati.
Hanks will next star in "Charlie Wilson's War" and will appear in a supporting role in "The Great Buck Howard."
The great Ron Howard, on the other hand, has been circling a number of possible directing options including a remake of "Cache" and a filmed version of the play "Frost/Nixon."
Hanks, Howard Near 'Da Vinci' Sequel
Production on 'Angels & Demons' may begin by January
Tom Hanks in 'The Da Vinci Code'