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Columbia finds ‘Symbol’

Knight to adapt third book in 'Da Vinci Code' series

Columbia Pictures is moving forward with “The Lost Symbol” — the third pic in the “Da Vinci Code” franchise — and has tapped British scribe Steven Knight to adapt.

Based on the Dan Brown thriller of the same name, “Lost Symbol” finds protag Robert Langdon summoned to Washington, D.C., where he begins decoding the symbols of the Freemasons.

Tom Hanks, who played Langdon in “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons,” has not yet committed to reprise the role, though he is expected to. Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have signed on to produce the latest installment alongside John Calley.

Though “The Da Vinci Code” grossed $758 million worldwide in 2006, “Angels and Demons” fell short of that mark last year with a $486 million worldwide haul.

Still, the studio has high hopes for “Lost Symbol,” which was a mammoth bestseller last year. The Doubleday book sold more than 1 million copies its first day in print in September.

Sony was eager to work with Knight again after acquiring the scribe’s screenplay “Pawn Sacrifice” last year.

That project, which centers on American chess icon Bobby Fischer leading up to his historic world championship match against Boris Spassky, is being produced by Gail Katz and Tobey Maguire.

Knight, whose credits include “Dirty Pretty Things,” also penned drafts of two upcoming pics: Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”He is repped by CAA.

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