Let’s see, Ron Howard makes yet another solid, critically acclaimed, upbeat, nice movie (Cinderella Man), and nobody comes. No wonder he says, in Newsweek‘s cover story on The Da Vinci Code, that he’s actively courting controversy this time, insisting to the magazine that there will be ”no placating” in his adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel, about a millennia-old cover-up that reaches the highest levels of the Catholic church.

”It would be ludicrous to take on this subject and then try to take the edges off,” Howard told the magazine about the film version (starring Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks, left). ”We’re doing this movie because we like the book.”

Whether Howard really has it in him to make a controversial movie that’s faithful to the novel (I’m skeptical, especially since Howard says he’s tossing the preface in which Brown claims his patently fanciful novel is ”accurate”), or whether fidelity to the book would even be a good thing — these are questions I leave to you, PopWatchers. Does the Newsweek article make you more or less eager to watch the movie when it opens in May?