Filming began on April 27, 2015 in Venice, Italy, and wrapped on July 21, 2015 in Budapest. The film premiered in Florence on October 9, 2016 and was released in the United States on October 28, 2016, ten years after release of The Da Vinci Code (2006), in 2D and IMAX formats. The film received generally negative reviews from critics and grossed $220 million against a production budget of $75 million.
Harvard University professor Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital room in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has transpired over the last few days, but being plagued with visions of a scorched Earth. Dr. Sienna Brooks, one of the doctors tending to him, reveals that he is suffering from amnesia as a result of a bullet wound to the head. Another doctor says the police are there to question Langdon but the officer turns out to be Vayentha, an assassin, who shoots the doctor while heading down the hall. Sienna helps Langdon to escape, and they flee to her apartment.
Among Langdon's personal belongings, Langdon and Sienna find a "Faraday pointer", a miniature image projector with a modified version of Sandro Botticelli's Map of Hell, which itself is based on Dante's Inferno. They soon realize this is the first clue in a trail left by Bertrand Zobrist, a billionaire geneticist who believed that rigorous measures were necessary to reduce the Earth's growing population, and who committed suicide after being chased by armed government agents.
Langdon and Sienna figure out that Zobrist, who is obsessed with Dante, has created a virus he has dubbed "Inferno", with the potential of decimating the world's population. In the meantime, they have been traced by both Vayentha and agents from the World Health Organization (WHO), who try to raid the apartment, forcing them to flee again. Langdon's knowledge of Dante's work and history, and of hidden passages in Florence, allows the two to follow clues such as letters and phrases which lead to various locations in Florence and Venice, while killing Vayentha and evading the WHO. Along the way, Langdon discovers that he stole and hid the Dante Death Mask, a crucial clue, an event he also does not remember.
Vayentha reports to her employer Harry Sims, the CEO of a private security company called "The Consortium", who is acting on behalf of Zobrist. The WHO agents are headed by Elizabeth Sinskey, an old lover of Langdon's, and are trying to prevent the release of the virus. Zobrist has provided Sims with a video message about the virus, to be broadcast after it has been released. Shocked by its content, Sims allies with Sinskey to prevent the outbreak. However, Langdon and Sienna are contacted by Christoph Bouchard, a man purporting to be working for WHO, warning them that Sinskey has a double agenda and is after the Inferno virus for her own profit. The three cooperate for a while, until Langdon realizes that Bouchard is lying and seeking to profit from Inferno himself, forcing the duo to flee on their own again.
Langdon figures out that the virus is in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. With that knowledge, Sienna abandons Langdon, revealing that she was Zobrist's lover and that she will ensure the release of the virus. Zobrist and Sienna used to play treasure hunt games; this trail was the backup plan in case something happened to Zobrist. Langdon is recaptured by Bouchard, but is rescued by Sims and re-teams with Sinskey, who asked him for help in interpreting the imagery from the Faraday pointer. Sims reveals he was hired by Sienna to kidnap Langdon when Zobrist had been killed, and drugged with benzodiazepine to induce a memory loss; the events in the hospital were all staged.
They realize the virus is in a plastic bag hidden under water in the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The WHO team–along with Langdon, Sims, and Sinskey–race to locate and secure the bag, while Sienna and her allies attempt to detonate an explosive that will rupture the bag and aerosolize the virus. Sims is killed by Sienna, and when Langdon confronts her, she commits suicide in an attempt to release the virus. The detonation is able to rupture the bag but because it was already contained in a special containment unit, the virus was secured in time and Sienna's enforcers are killed. The virus is then taken by WHO, and Langdon goes back to Florence in order to return the Dante Death Mask.Tom Hanks as Dr. Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology at Harvard University.
Felicity Jones as Dr. Sienna Brooks, a doctor who helps Langdon escape.
Omar Sy as Christoph Bouchard, head of the SRS team (Surveillance and Response Support), of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Ben Foster as Bertrand Zobrist, a transhumanist scientist, intent on solving the world's overpopulation problem.
Sidse Babett Knudsen as Elizabeth Sinskey, head of the World Health Organization.
Irrfan Khan as Harry "The Provost" Sims, head of The Consortium, helping Zobrist in his mission. But when he found out he was a terrorist, he switched sides and joined Robert Langdon and Elizabeth Sinskey.
Ana Ularu as Vayentha, The Consortium's agent in Florence who has orders to follow Langdon.
On July 16, 2013, Sony Pictures Entertainment set Ron Howard to direct Dan Brown's fourth novel in the Robert Langdon series, Inferno, with David Koepp writing the script. Imagine Entertainment was set to produce the film, while Tom Hanks was again set to reprise his role as Robert Langdon. On August 26, 2014, Sony had finalized the deal with Howard and Hanks, and set the film for April start of production in Italy. Brian Grazer was also set to produce the film with Howard.
On December 2, Felicity Jones was in early talks to join the film. On February 17, 2015, studio revealed the confirmed cast for the film, including Jones as Dr. Sienna Brooks, Omar Sy as Christoph Bruder, Irrfan Khan as Harry "The Provost" Sims, and Sidse Babett Knudsen as Elizabeth Sinskey, head of the World Health Organization. Ben Foster was set for an unspecified villainous role on March 10, 2015, which later revealed to be the role of Bertrand Zobrist.
Filming began on April 27, 2015 in Venice, Italy, and continued in Florence, Italy, starting at the end of April. Outdoor scenes featuring Hanks were filmed near the Palazzo Vecchio and elsewhere in the historic center of the city, starting on May 2, 2015. Some second unit stunts were filmed at an apartment building close to the Ponte Vecchio, in Florence. Low-flying aerial shots of Florence landmarks, its river and bridges were filmed on May 11, 2015. A sequence displayed in an early trailer features a Padova railway station sign, but locals immediately recognized the scene as recreated somewhere else. As of June 5, 2015, most of the film was planned to be shot in Budapest, Hungary at Korda Studios. Filming wrapped on July 21, 2015.
During location filming, its production codename was "Headache", a reference to a concussion suffered by Langdon early in the story.
In July 2013, Sony set the film a release date for December 18, 2015. However, due to the date clash with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the release date was moved from December 18, 2015, to October 14, 2016. In early 2016, the release date was pushed back two more weeks from October 14, 2016 to October 28, 2016. It was released in both 2D and 3D formats.
On May 9, 2016, Sony Pictures released the first teaser trailer for the film. The film premiered in Florence, Italy on October 8, 2016, at the New Opera Theater and also held a premiere in India on October 13, 2016 due to the popularity of actor Irrfan Khan.
Inferno grossed $34.3 million in the United States and Canada and $185.7 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $220 million, against a production budget of $75 million.
In the United States and Canada, Inferno was initially expected to top the box office with around $25 million from 3,546 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $800,000 from Thursday night previews and $5.6 million on its first day, lowering weekend projections to $15 million. It ended up opening to $14.9 million, finishing second at the box office behind Boo! A Madea Halloween and marked the fourth straight domestic disappointment for director Ron Howard.
Internationally, the film was released two weeks ahead of its North American debut, across 53 overseas markets (about 66% of its total international market) in order to avoid competition from Marvel Studio's Doctor Strange. It finished at first place at the box office in 45 of those countries. In total, it opened to $49.7 million, of which $2.6 million came from IMAX theaters, the second biggest amount of October. It fell 49% in its second weekend, earning $28.9 million from 58 markets and was surpassed by Jack Reacher: Never Go Back at the chart. Italy, where the film was partly shot, delivered the biggest opening with $5 million. This was followed by Germany ($4.4 million), where it competed for No. 1 with the animated Finding Dory. Russia similarly opened to $4.4 million, followed by the United Kingdom and Ireland ($3.8 million), Spain ($2 million) and the Netherlands ($1.2 million). Inferno's £2.97 million debut in the U.K. is considerably less than the first (£9.50 million) and the second film (£6.05 million). In Latin America, the film debuted in first in all 11 markets, earning a combined $9 million. Brazil led with $4 million, followed by Mexico ($2.6 million). Similary in South East Asia, it saw top openings in six out of seven markets for a combined $6 million. Japan ($3.3 million), Taiwan ($1.7 million), India ($0 million) and Indonesia ($1 million) posted the biggest debuts. In China, it opened at number one with $13.3 million. In the Oceania region, Australia launched with $1.8 million. Inferno opened to number one across the Middle East for a regional total of $1.8 million. The film opened in France on November 9 and grossed $24.3 million on its opening weekend.
Inferno received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, the film has an approval rating of 19% based on 210 reviews; the average rating is 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Senselessly frantic and altogether shallow, Inferno sends the Robert Langdon trilogy spiraling to a convoluted new low." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 42 out of 100 based on 47 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
British film critic Mark Kermode gave the film a negative review, calling it, "intergalactically stupid". Cinema Blend wrote Inferno is "insufferable. And while you're obviously meant to take Inferno with a dash of salt, it's so preposterously stupid and dumb that this rancid popcorn flick becomes increasingly nauseating the further you taste."