Variety is reporting today that Columbia Pictures is already developing a big screen version of the new Dan Brown novel "The Lost Symbol," the  third installment of the author's Robert Langdon series which gained worldwide popularity after "The Da Vinci Code."  With a massive 5 million order print run, "The Lost Symbol" will hit booksellers on Sept 15. 

The trade did not elaborate on how involved "Da Vinci" producer Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard have been on developing a new film around the book.  At this point, probably little considering Brown just completed his manuscript.  It's also too early to speculate on whether Tom Hanks is committed to starring in a third feature as the investigative professor.  However, if Columbia can get another film up and running, it would be a relief for a studio whose only other true franchise is "Spider-Man."  Especially after the $758 million gross of the first 2006 thriller.

The second installment of the "Da Vinci" franchise, "Angels & Demons," opens nationwide next month.