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ENTERTAINMENT

'Vinci' stars make tracks to premiere

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Director Ron Howard, actors Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks name a new Eurostar train "The Da Vinci Code."

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Tom Hanks
Audrey Tautou
Ian McKellen

LONDON, England -- The stars of movie blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" have arrived at the Cannes Film Festival on board a train that broke the world record for the longest nonstop international rail trip.

Tom Hanks and his fellow cast members on Tuesday set off from London on the Eurostar train to the Cannes Film Festival where the big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown's best-seller will receive its world premiere on Wednesday night.

Eurostar laid on a special train -- named in honor of the book and film -- to take the cast from Waterloo International terminal in the British capital to Cannes in the south of France.

The journey of 883 miles (1,421 kilometers) qualifies it for the Guinness World Records.

Hanks posed for pictures at Waterloo station with co-stars Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Paul Bettany, Jean Reno and Alfred Molina. Director Ron Howard also made the trip.

"The Da Vinci Code" is set to become the biggest -- and most hyped -- blockbuster of the year when it opens worldwide on Friday.

Hanks plays Robert Langdon, a Harvard academic who sets out to unravel the mystery of the Holy Grail.

The Oscar-winning star got his own entry in the record books last week. He was named as the actor with the most consecutive 100 million dollar-grossing movies, after scoring seven huge box office hits in succession.

Like the best-selling novel by Dan Brown on which it is based, the fictional movie's plot centers on the contention that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, with whom he bore children, and that Opus Dei, a conservative religious organization close to the Vatican, and the Catholic Church covered it up.

Several Vatican officials and cardinals have spoken out against the novel in recent weeks in the run-up to the film's release, including at least one Vatican official who has called for a boycott.

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