Opening arguments were heard in London's High Court on Monday in the case of two authors who claim that Dan Brown appropriated "the central architecture" of his book, The Da Vinci Code from their nonfiction book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. A film version of the book, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, is due to open the Cannes Film Festival in May, and at one point, one of the justices asked an attorney for authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh whether they were attempting to have the release of the film halted. News reports of the trial did not record their response. Brown has acknowledged that the Baigent and Leigh book, which argues that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had a child with her, influenced his tale. (Indeed, a new "code" was discovered by reporters covering the case: one of the central characters in the book is named Leigh Teabing, which combines Leigh's name with an anagram of Baigent's. Brown also refers to their book in the text of The Da Vinci Code.)
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