Let’s Decode the Movie Poster for Tom Hanks’ ‘Inferno’

The wait is finally over. That’s right, Robert Langdon-heads. Everyone’s favourite franchise about a guy who’s… uh… really good at solving puzzles… is back!

It’s been seven years since Tom Hanks last reprised his role as the super-intelligent Harvard scholar for the Dan Brown airport book-inspired film franchise. This time, Langdon wakes up in Florence with no idea how he got there, chasing a trail of “Dante’s Inferno”-inspired clues around Europe to try to stop a virus that could kill half the world’s population. And we’ve got, uh, questions.

Questions like, is a symbology professor really mankind’s best hope at stopping a global terrorist plot? Do they actually expect us to buy the “amnesia” thing? Does Langdon cut his own hair? And most importantly, was anyone out there honestly clamoring for a third one of these movies?

And since this is a franchise that’s all about decoding hidden clues and solving mysteries, we figured we’d give the Inferno movie poster the old Da Vinci Code treatment and see what answers we could glean from it. Prepare to have your minds blown.


“Based on the best-selling novel by the author of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons”

Think back. Remember those books you flipped through during that six-hour layover at Heathrow? Well, they’re this franchise’s version of sacred texts. It’s not exactly “The Divine Comedy,” but we thought if you skipped ahead to the last chapter of Dan Brown’s “Inferno,” you could probably figure this whole thing out in no time. Then we heard they changed the ending for the movie. This is a total dead end.

“A Ron Howard Film”

They waste precious minutes of screentime and never seem to actually matter once they’re solved, but for whatever reason, anagrams are like crack to Robert Langdon. So I plugged this into an online anagram maker. Here’s what I came up with.

Mal Hairdo. Frown – “Mal” roughly translates to “bad” or “wrong” in French, and Hanks’ terrible haircut has been a signature of this franchise ever since The Da Vinci Code. That is, up until now. Maybe the true villain is the barber who chopped off Langdon’s flowing locks? This checks out.

Honor Film Award – This might finally explain how A Beautiful Mind won Howard his two Oscars: subliminal messaging. Spooky.

Hail Moron Dwarf – What? Anagrams are hard.

Starring Felicity Jones

I read about this one online. It means this movie takes place between Episodes III and IV, tying the prequels to the original trilogy. No. Wait. Nevermind.

Tom Hanks’ suit

I know what you’re probably thinking: Hollywood’s most beloved leading man looks perfectly normal in that boring black suit. That’s what they want you to think. But look again. Turn the jacket inside out and I’m willing to bet David S. Pumpkins is hiding under there. Any questions?

Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones’ names and pictures are flipped

These movies always have a twist. And it usually hinges on one seemingly innocuous clue just like this. My current working theory? There’s some kind of Freaky Friday situation going on. (C’mon. Is it really any less plausible than a self-flagellating albino monk trying to steal the Holy Grail?)


Just the title of the movie, right? Look closer. The “I” in Inferno looks like a hypodermic needle. Because obviously you’d have to be on pharmaceutical-grade drugs to come up with a plot about a deranged, puzzle-loving billionaire who ties the release of a global pandemic to a Dante-themed scavenger hunt.

That tagline

In the movie, Hanks’ Langdon conveniently wakes up with “retrograde amnesia” and no idea what he’s even doing in Florence. Fittingly, I have no idea what the tagline “Inferno is Upon Us” is supposed to mean, even after having seen the movie.

The upside-down Florence skyline

That’s Florence’s iconic Duomo at the bottom of the poster. Only you’ll notice it’s upside down. Which is our first major clue that this movie takes place in the Stranger Things-verse. Spoiler alert: Langdon doesn’t find Barb either.

The credits

Don’t ignore that big clump of credits at the bottom. See those dudes with “ACE” and “ASC” next to their names? Clearly, it’s a reference to some kind of secret society or ancient order.

“October 28”

Either the date this movie comes out in theatres, or the date that Howard and Hanks finally come out as card-carrying members of the Illuminati. Hard to say, really.

“Experience it in IMAX”

It’s difficult to figure out why anyone would need to see the third Tom Hanks-plays-a-genius-symbologist movie on a screen that costs twice as much as a normal movie, but there’s got to be a clue hidden in here somewhere…


This link redirects you to a series of Inferno-themed puzzles, promising a big prize at the end. But when you click through, it says the sweepstakes has “ended.” That’s obviously just a red herring, right?

There’s a total of 19 different names on the poster

And 19 just so happens to be the number of cantos in… Nah. This probably doesn’t mean anything. I just went to the trouble of counting them all and figured it should go somewhere.