The Davinci Code: According to Cinema Eye, director Ron Howard is in talks with Russell Crowe who headlined the Oscar-winning A Beautful Mind.

Kate Beckinsale is in the lead to play Sofia, the dark-haired female protagonist and love-interest for Crowe. Beckinsales has already proven her ability to open a film with the vampire vs. werewolf slugfest Underworld and her role in Van Helsing should only add to her fan base.

Howard is currently in pre-production on his second film with Crowe, Cinderella Man, which begins production in March 2004.

Brian B.