Inferno is a 2016 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by David Koepp, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, is the third installment in the Robert Langdon film series, and stars Tom Hanks, reprising his role as Robert Langdon, alongside Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster and Irrfan Khan.
Filming began on April 27, 2015 in Venice, Italy, and wrapped on July 21, 2015 in Budapest. The film premiered in Florence on October 9, 2016 and was released in the United States on October 28, 2016 in 3D, 2D and IMAX formats. It received generally negative reviews and has grossed $100 million.
Harvard University professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) awakens in a hospital room in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has transpired over the last few days, but being plagued with visions of a scorched Earth. Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), one of the doctors tending to him, reveals that he is suffering from amnesia as a result of a bullet wound to the head. All of a sudden, Vayentha (Ana Ularu), a female assassin, shows up in the hospital. Sienna helps Langdon to escape, and they flee to her apartment.
Among Langdon's personal belongings, Langdon and Sienna find a "Faraday pointer", a miniature image projector with a modified version of Sandro Botticelli's Map of Hell, which itself is based on Dante's Inferno. They soon realize this is the first clue in a trail left by Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), a billionaire geneticist who believed that rigorous measures were necessary to reduce the Earth's growing population, and who committed suicide after being chased by armed government agents. Langdon and Sienna figure out that Zobrist, who is obsessed with Dante, has created a virus he has dubbed "Inferno", with the potential of decimating the world's population. In the meantime, they have been traced by both Vayentha and local law enforcement, who try to raid the appartment, forcing them to flee again. Langdon's knowledge of Dante's work and history, and of hidden passages in Florence, allows the two to follow clues such as letters and phrases which lead to various locations in Florence and Venice, while evading the assassin and the authorities. Along the way, Langdon discovers that he stole and hid the Dante Death Mask, a crucial clue, an event he also has no memory of.
Vayentha reports to her employer Harry Sims (Irrfan Khan), the CEO of a private security company called "The Consortium", is acting on behalf of Zobrist, while the armed authorities reveal themselves to be World Health Organization (WHO) agents headed by Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen), trying to prevent the release of the virus. Zobrist has provided Sims with a video message about the virus, to be broadcast after it has been released. Shocked by its content, Sims allies with Sinskey to prevent the outbreak. However, Langdon and Sienna are contacted by Christoph Bouchard (Omar Sy), a man purporting to be working for the WHO, warning them that Sinskey has a double agenda and is after the Inferno virus for her own profit. The three cooperate for a while, until Langdon realizes that Bouchard is lying and seeking to profit from Inferno himself, forcing the duo to flee on their own again.
Langdon figures out that the virus is in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. With that knowledge, Sienna abandons Langdon, revealing that she was Zobrist's lover and that she will ensure the release of the virus. Zobrist and Sienna used to play treasure hunt games; this trail was the backup plan in case something happened to Zobrist. Langdon is recaptured by Bouchard, but is rescued by Sims and re-teams with Sinskey, an old lover who asked him for help in interpreting the imagery from the Faraday pointer, leading to Langdon being kidnapped by Sims' men and drugged with benzodiazepine to induce a memory loss; the events in the hospital were all staged.
The virus is in a plastic bag hidden under water in the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The WHO team with Langdon, Sims, and Sinskey race to locate and secure the bag while Sienna and her allies attempt to detonate an explosive that will rupture the bag and aerosolize the virus. Sims is killed by Sienna, and when Langdon confronts her, she commits suicide in an attempt to release the virus, but the bag is secured in time and Sienna's enforcers are killed. The virus is then taken by the WHO, and Langdon goes back to Florence in order to return the Dante Death Mask.
On July 16, 2013, Sony Pictures Entertainment set Ron Howard to direct Dan Brown's fourth novel in the Robert Langdon series, Inferno, with David Koepp writing the script. Imagine Entertainment was set to produce the film, while Tom Hanks was again set to reprise his role as Robert Langdon. On August 26, 2014, Sony had finalized the deal with Howard and Hanks, and set the film for April start of production in Italy. Brian Grazer was also set to produce the film with Howard.
On December 2, Felicity Jones was in early talks to join the film. On February 17, 2015, studio revealed the confirmed cast for the film, including Jones as Dr. Sienna Brooks, Omar Sy as Christoph Bruder, Irrfan Khan as Harry "The Provost" Sims, and Sidse Babett Knudsen as Elizabeth Sinskey, head of the World Health Organization. Ben Foster was set for an unspecified villainous role on March 10, 2015, which later revealed to be the role of Bertrand Zobrist.
Filming began on April 27, 2015 in Venice, Italy, and continued in Florence, Italy, starting at the end of April. Outdoor scenes featuring Hanks were filmed near the Palazzo Vecchio and elsewhere in the historic center of the city, starting on May 2, 2015. Some second unit stunts were filmed at an apartment building close to the Ponte Vecchio, in Florence. Low-flying aerial shots of Florence landmarks, its river and bridges were filmed on May 11, 2015. A sequence displayed in an early trailer features a Padova railway station sign, but locals immediately recognized the scene as recreated somewhere else. As of June 5, 2015, most of the film was planned to be shot in Budapest, Hungary at Korda Studios. Filming wrapped on July 21, 2015.
During location filming, its production codename was "Headache", a reference to a concussion suffered by Langdon early in the story.
In July 2013, Sony set the film for a December 18, 2015, release. However, due to the date clash with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the release date was moved from December 18, 2015, to October 14, 2016. In early 2016, the release date was pushed to October 28, 2016. It was released in both 2D and 3D formats.
On May 9, 2016, Sony Pictures released the first teaser trailer for the film. The film premiered in Florence, Italy on October 8, 2016, at the New Opera Theater and also held a premiere in India on October 13, 2016 due to the popularity of actor Irrfan Khan.
As of October 28, 2016Inferno has grossed $5.6 million in North America and $94.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $100 million, against a production budget of $75 million.
In the United States, Inferno is expected to top the box office with around $25 million from 3,546 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $800,000 from Thursday night previews and $5.6 million on its first day, lowering weekend projections to $15 million.
Internationally, the film was released two weeks ahead of its North American debut, across 53 overseas markets (about 66% of its total international market) and finished at first place at the box office in 45 of those countries. In total, it opened to $49.7 million, of which $2.6 million came from IMAX theaters, the second biggest amount of October. It fell 49% in its second weekend, earning $28.9 million from 58 markets and was surpassed by Jack Reacher: Never Go Back for the top spot at the box office.
The film is yet to open in major markets like China and Japan (October 28) and France (November 9).
Inferno received generally negative reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 20%, based on 138 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's consensus reads, "Senselessly frantic and altogether shallow, Inferno sends the Robert Langdon trilogy spiraling to a convoluted new low." On Metacritic, the film has a normalized score of 44 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
British film critic Mark Kermode gave the film a negative review, calling it, "intergalactically stupid."
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