Movie; The Da Vinci Code is set to be delayed by
a copyright lawsuit.
 
Monday, February 27, 2006

The big-screen adaptation of the best-selling book The Da Vinci Code, which features Midlothian's Rosslyn Chapel, is set to be delayed by a legal challenge.

The film, which is directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard, is set to be released in Britain on May 19, but a copyright claim by the writers of a non-fiction book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, is due in the High Court in London next week.

The £10 million claim by co-authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who wrote the book in 1984, is for breach of copyright on the grounds that the structure of their book was plagiarised by author Dan Brown for The Da Vinci Code.

If the judge upholds the claim, there could be a lengthy delay or even ban on the film, which is expected to be the biggest British film of the year.

Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks, who stars in the film, spent several days filming at Rosslyn Chapel last year. The 15th-century chapel was built by William Sinclair, a grand master of the Knights Templar, and is located seven miles outside Edinburgh. The novel, which has sold 29 million copies, suggests there are religious relics from the time of Christ which are protected by a society, similar to the Knights Templar, hidden in Rosslyn.

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