Back in July, we reported that The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons director Ron Howard will not return to direct The Lost Symbol, an adaptation of the third novel in Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series. Today we have news that Never Let Me Go director Mark Romanek has become the top candidate to replace Ron Howard on The Lost Symbol.

We reported in December that author Dan Brown himself is rewriting the screenplay, working off a first draft by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises). This new adventure brings Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) back to America, where he investigates the mysterious Freemasons.

Mark Romanek isn't officially locked in as the director yet, although negotiations are said to begin very shortly. Tom Hanks is expected to return as Robert Langdon, but his deal has not been completed yet.

Ron Howard will stay on board as a producer of The Lost Symbol, alongside Brian Grazer. No production schedule was given yet.