The Vatican tried to block the new Da Vinci Code sequel, Angels & Demons, from filming in Italy, said Ron Howard, the film’s director. Howard said he met resistance in trying to shoot several scenes near Catholic churches, and “it was explained to us that through back channels that the Vatican had exerted some influence.” The church, which denounced Da Vinci as false and defamatory, said Howard was simply trying to drum up publicity for the new film.