Tom Hanks Calls 'The Da Vinci Code' Movie Series 'Hooey': 'That Was a Commercial Enterprise'

"By the time we made the third one, we proved that it wasn't such good commerce," Tom Hanks tells The New York Times of The Da Vinci Code films

Tom Hanks The Da Vinci Code
Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code (2006). Photo: Simon Mein/Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tom Hanks is looking back on The Da Vinci Code as "delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage."

In a new interview with The New York Times, published Friday, the 65-year-old Academy Award winner said he's "not a cynic" when discussing history and his career — but when asked about whether he considered it cynical to make two sequels to 2006's The Da Vinci Code, he added, "God, that was a commercial enterprise. Yeah, those Robert Langdon sequels are hooey. The Da Vinci Code was hooey."

"I mean, [author] Dan Brown, God bless him, says, 'Here is a sculpture in a place in Paris! No, it's way over there. See how a cross is formed on a map? Well, it's sort of a cross,' " Hanks continued.

Of the books on which the film series is based, Hanks opined, "Those are delightful scavenger hunts that are about as accurate to history as the James Bond movies are to espionage."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

Audrey Tautou, Tom Hanks The Da Vinci Code
Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code (2006). Simon Mein/Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

"But they're as cynical as a crossword puzzle," Hanks continued. "All we were doing is promising a diversion."

And while he believes "There's nothing wrong with good commerce, provided it is good commerce," Hanks added, "By the time we made the third [film, Inferno], we proved that it wasn't such good commerce."

At the end of the day, he's not complaining about having been part of the Ron Howard-directed mystery-thriller trilogy, which made close to $1.5 billion worldwide at the box office.

"Let me tell you something else about The Da Vinci Code," Hanks said. "It was my 40th-something birthday. We were shooting in the Louvre at night. I changed my pants in front of the Mona Lisa! They brought me a birthday cake in the Grand Salon! Who gets to have that experience? Any cynicism there? Hell no!"

RELATED VIDEO: Tom Hanks Unveils Academy Museum

Next on Hanks' radar? Elvis, in which he plays Colonel Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley (played by Austin Butler). The Baz Luhrmann-helmed drama is slated for a theatrical release June 24.

Disney also recently debuted the first teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action reimagining of Pinocchio, inspired by the 1940 animated classic.

In the film, Hanks plays Geppetto, the wood-carver who creates and cares for Pinocchio (played here by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Miles from Netflix's The Haunting of Bly Manor).

Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) directed the movie, which also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the wise mentor and "conscience" Jiminy Cricket, Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy, Keegan-Michael Key as "Honest" John and Luke Evans as the villainous Coachman. Lorraine Bracco plays a new character, Sofia the Seagull.

Related Articles