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Howard and Hanks Flop into Fortune

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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FAILING UP Hanks, Audrey Tatou, Howard

Say you get slammed for an embarrassing performance in a cheesy pulp novel about falling in love with Jesus's cute descendent. Or just say you're Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. What do you do after The Da Vinci Code, the film Time called "Long and mostly inert," the BBC flagged as "a stinker," and others called "jumbled, joyless," and like a "limp noodle"?

You press on, apparently. Howard and Hanks don't think the Dan Brown franchise is dead yet. In fact, Hanks is happy to sign on the dotted line and be embarrassed all over again for the Angels & Demons prequel. The promise of a cool $50 million makes the decision a little easier.

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If Hanks reprises his Robert Langdon role at that price tag, he'll beat out Jim Carrey (who made major bank for his masterpiece, The Cable Guy) as the actor drawing the highest salary for a single movie. And all he's gotta do is stand around looking worried.

Let's just hope all that pressure doesn't lead to Hanks peeing on set.

Photo: Getty Images

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