Sony can’t get enough of that old-time religion.
Last week, Catholic League topper Bill Donohue declared a holy war against the studio’s “Angels and Demons,” blanketing Hollywood media members with e-mails alleging an anti-Catholic agenda in the book and the pic, which bows in May.
Sony doesn’t seem to be quaking in its boots. “The only thing we’re upset about is the timing. Maybe we could have hoped for the campaign a little closer to the opening,” quips a high-ranking studio exec.
The League also had spoken out against the 2006 “Da Vinci Code,” in which virtually all of its Catholic characters were corrupt, perverse, murderous — or all of the above. But the pic hauled in a divine $758 million worldwide.
In one of the series of emails last week, Donohue asserts that author Dan Brown and helmer Ron Howard, who did both “Da Vinci” and “Angels,” are obsessed with Catholicism.
“It is not enough to criticize it — they are hell-bent on demonizing it,” he writes. “It is not enough to drag out dirty laundry — they invent it. And the fact that they pay absolutely no price for their propaganda shows beyond dispute that anti-Catholicism is the one bigotry Hollywood likes.”
Donohue stopped short of calling for a boycott of “Angels.” He deems his efforts an educational campaign, one that includes a forthcoming booklet, “Angels & Demons: More Demonic Than Angelic.”
“My goal … is to give the public a big FYI: Enjoy the movie, but know that it is a fable,” he says. “It is based on malicious myths, intentionally advanced by Brown-Howard.”
Donohue does take credit for hitting one Hollywood pic where it hurts: New Line’s “The Golden Compass.”
The pic earned a meager $70 million Stateside, vs. a boffo $302 million overseas.
“I won,” Donohue says. “How do I know? Because (the book’s author Philip) Pullman admitted as much: There has not been a commitment to the movie version of the second book of the trilogy, ‘The Subtle Knife.’ “