Opus Dei, a conservative religious organization close to the Vatican, has told Sony that a disclaimer on the soon-to-be-released film based on The Da Vinci Code would show respect to Jesus and to the Catholic Church.
The runaway best-selling novel by Dan Brown portrays Opus Dei as a murderous, power-hungry sect. The story contends that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had descendants, and that Opus Dei and the Catholic Church were at the center of covering that up.
"Some media have written that Sony is examining the possibility of putting at the beginning of the film an announcement to clarify that it is a work of fantasy and that any similarity with reality is purely coincidental," Opus Dei said in a statement on its Italian Web site on Saturday.
"Any such decision by Sony would be a gesture of respect toward the figure of Jesus, to the history of the Church and to the religious beliefs of viewers," Opus Dei wrote in its letter.
The organization, which enjoyed the favor of the late Pope John Paul II, said it wrote to officials of Sony Corp. in Japan last week.