Now comes news that Howard won't direct the latest Dan Brown film 'The Lost Symbol,' and that he might still be smarting at being passed over for a "hotter" director on a coveted job.
Howard had some of the biggest hits of his career with 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels & Demons,' but now he's only planning to produce the third installment based on Brown's novels.
What Howard really wanted to do next was helm the Somali pirate drama that instead went to 'Bourne' director Paul Greengrass. An insider tells Deadline that Sony exec Amy Pascal "wanted someone hotter and cooler" than Howard. Between being passed over and Universal pulling the plug on 'Dark Tower,' that's gotta hurt.
Since winning an Oscar for 2001's 'A Beautiful Mind,' Howard's non-Dan Brown films haven't exactly set the box office on fire, with 'Cinderella Man' and 'Missing' underperforming at the box office.
But he's still busy, with two wildly disparate projects in the works: The adaptation of 'Into the Wild' author Jon Krakauer's 'Under The Banner Of Heaven,' and a live-action version of Mad magazine's 'Spy vs. Spy' comic. His next film will be the Formula One racing pic, 'Rush.'