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Col solves code of ‘Da Vinci’

Deal estimated at substantial seven-figure sum

Columbia Pictures has acquired “The Da Vinci Code,” Dan Brown’s thriller about an ancient conspiracy that has topped national bestseller lists since it was published by Doubleday in March.

Deal, estimated to be worth a substantial seven-figure sum, grants Columbia Pictures rights to “Code” and other books in the series.

“Code” is Brown’s second novel centering on Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor who studies religious symbols. The first, “Angels and Demons,” was published in 2000. Brown was still relatively unknown when “Code” became an overnight publishing phenomenon, catapulting “Angels” onto paperback bestseller lists.

“Code,” which has been much sought-after by producers since it hit the bestseller list, centers on the murder of a curator at the Louvre and clues to a 2,000-year-old conspiracy encoded in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Author Lewis Perdue alleged that “Code” borrows material from Perdue’s novel “Daughter of God,” published in 2000. Brown has said he never read Perdue’s books.

Brown is currently at work on a third novel featuring Professor Langdon; that book is also part of the deal with Col.

“Dan Brown is a master storyteller who has created an amazingly visual page turner,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman John Calley. “The Robert Langdon character is a compelling hero and sleuth, and we can’t wait to bring this puzzle to the screen.”

Project, which Col hopes to turn into a franchise, will be developed by co-prexy of production Matt Tolmach.

The studio has not yet attached a producer to the property.

Brown was repped by Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo.