EXCLUSIVE: We have the first big sale for the 2019-2020 broadcast development season. NBC has given a production commitment to Langdon, a drama based on Dan Brown’s thriller novel The Lost Symbol, from Daniel Cerone (Motive, Constantine), Imagine Television Studios, the TV arm of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, CBS TV Studios and Universal Television.
Written and executive produced by Cerone, 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.
Brown executive produces with Imagine TV Studios’ Grazer, Howard, Francie Calfo, Samie Falvey and Anna Culp. Imagine TV Studios, CBS TV Studios and Universal TV co-produce.
The Last Symbol is the third Brown novel featuring the character of Langdon, following Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, and is set after the events of The Da Vinci Code.
The Langdon TV series is a natural extension to the Robert Langdon universe Imagine Entertainment had built on the feature side at Columbia Pictures with three movies produced by the company and directed by principal Ron Howard, which starred Tom Hanks as Langdon: The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno, based on the fourth book in the series. The company also had developed a movie adaptation of The Lost Symbol at Sony as a follow-up to Angels & Demons before the studio went with Inferno instead.
Just like the Angels & Demons movie took place after the events in The Da Vinci Code, opposite to the chronological order in the books, Langdon has been conceived as a prequel, focusing on a younger Robert Langdon to change the timeline in the novels. Imagine TV set the project at CBS TV Studios through the companies’ first-look deal. The series had been in development at the studio at least since last September.
Imagine TV’s series portfolio includes Fox’s Empire, Nat Geo’s Genius and the upcoming Why Women Kill on CBS All Access, Swagger on Apple, Wu-Tang: An American Saga on Hulu and 68 Whiskey on Paramount Network.
Cerone created drama series Motive, which aired for three seasons, its first two on ABC and the third on USA Network. He also co-created drama series Constantine, which aired for one season on NBC. Cerone worked on the first three seasons of Showtime’s Dexter, beginning as a co-executive producer and rising to executive producer in Season 2. His other writing-producing credits include Nightflyers, The Blacklist and The Mentalist.
Brown’s full Robert Langdon thriller novel series includes Angels & Demons (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2003), The Lost Symbol (2009), Inferno (2013) and Origin (2017).