Though Dan Brown's reign as the king of airplane reading may be over, his Robert Langdon books produced two very successful movies. So it's no surprise that Brown's 'Inferno' is being adapted for the big screen, with Tom Hanks returning as Langdon, and with Ron Howard directing, and has been set for a December 2015 release.

Howard and Hanks were the force behind the 2006 adaptation of 'The Da Vinci Code,' which made $217 million domestically and $758 million worldwide. Their 2009 follow-up 'Angels and Demons' was much less successful -- with $133 million grossed domestically, and $485 million worldwide -- but those numbers suggest that a sequel isn't the worst idea in the world.

Deadline broke the news the two were coming back. For a while it looked like Hanks would return for another Langdon book (word was it would be 'The Lost Symbol'), while Howard was going to leave the directing duties to someone else. But now both are confirmed to return, and that's something that's marketable.

This makes a lot of sense for Tom Hanks as his last three films have been 'Larry Crowne,' 'Extremely Loud and incredibly Close' and 'Cloud Atlas,' with none of the three able to crack $40 million domestic. Hanks may have more luck later this year with 'Saving Mr. Banks' and 'Captain Phillips,' but he's had a dry spell for a while. Expect to see 'Inferno' in theaters December 18, 2015.

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