The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons author’s latest: Will it save his publisher?
Add Doubleday to the list of companies that have gotten a bailout — though theirs comes not from the Obama administration, but from The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons author Dan Brown. After a four-year delay, the publisher announced that the novelist’s third Robert Langdon novel, The Lost Symbol, will arrive in bookstores Sept. 15.
The news comes six months after Doubleday, an imprint of Random House, laid off 10 percent of its staff. ”[The Lost Symbol] is not just going to be an enormous boon — it’s going to save the whole company,” a source at Random House tells EW. ”Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but this is going to be a real shot in the arm.” Doubleday ordered 5 million copies of Symbol, which follows Professor Langdon on a 12-hour adventure involving the Freemasons. That’s the largest number in Random House’s history, but the gamble seems justified: Less than a day after preorders became available on Amazon, Symbol shot to the top of the site’s best-seller list.
Any success, though, is too late for laid-off employees. Doubleday insisted last October that staff cuts had nothing to do with the novel’s delay, but our source notes, ”People have been talking about what would have happened if he’d delivered the book just six months earlier.”
For Doubleday, the current timing might actually be advantageous: The movie version of Angels & Demons opens May 15 and should build anticipation for Symbol. (Columbia already owns the film rights to all Robert Langdon adaptations.) Then again, we have a hunch the book won’t need much help. — Kate Ward, with additional reporting by Tina Jordan
Michael Douglas signs on for Wall Street sequel
Now might be a great time to revisit Gordon Gekko’s immortal sentiment ”Greed is good.” EW has learned that Twentieth Century Fox will reunite director Oliver Stone with Michael Douglas to bring Douglas’ iconic corporate raider back in a sequel to 1987’s Wall Street. Shia LaBeouf is in talks to play a young trader who works with Gekko 20 years after he was indicted. (Original hotshot Charlie Sheen will not appear in the sequel.) ”I think it’s time to take another hard look at trading and the economy and what went wrong these last few years,” Douglas tells EW. The studio hopes to begin production this summer. — Nicole Sperling, with additional reporting by Carrie Bell
Fox makes a risky decision with choir series Glee
All jazz hands on deck! Fox will debut the pilot for Glee, a new comedy that chronicles a high school show choir, on May 19. But in an unprecedented move, the network will put off airing the rest of the series until this fall. Fox execs hope the high-profile berth behind the penultimate episode of American Idol, coupled with a hefty promotional push this summer, will ensure that viewers come back in droves this September. ”It’s like putting a movie trailer before a screening of Titanic,” says creater Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck). ”I like it because it’s brave, and you can’t argue with the logic. What other fall show gets that kind of momentum and marketing?” Fox also hopes to cultivate the Glee fan base early by making choir covers of Amy Winehouse’s ”Rehab” and Journey’s ”Don’t Stop Believing” from the pilot available on iTunes immediately following the May airing. — Lynette Rice