As expected, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are in the final stages of joining the production of The Da Vinci Code prequel, Angels and Demons for Columbia Pictures.

The Hollywood Reporter notes Hanks is about to receive one of the biggest paydays ever to reprise his role as Harvard professor Robert Langdon; Sony declined comment about the status of the highly anticipated project, which also derives from a Dan Brown best-seller.

An early January start date has been scheduled for production on Angels and Demons; another A-list cast is being hired in supporting roles.