Ewan McGregor is reportedly in discussions to take a testing role in Angels and Demons, the prequel to The Da Vinci Code.

According to Variety, the Trainspotting star is in talks with Columbia studios to star in Ron Howard's adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller.

Set to begin shooting in June, Angels and Demons will see Tom Hanks again starring as symbology professor Robert Langdon, battling to find a hidden canister of volatile antimatter in Rome.

While Brown's hugely successful novel The Da Vinci Code told of an elaborate plot by the Catholic Church to conceal the bloodline of Jesus Christ, Angels and Demons is concerned with an attempt to blow up the Vatican during the papal conclave (when a pope's successor is elected).

It is believed McGregor will play Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca, the closest aide of a recently-deceased Pope, who initially helps Langdon in his effort to uncover the role played in the bomb plot by the shadowy Illuminati conspiracy.

As well as working alongside Hanks, McGregor's signing for the film would see him shooting with Munich actress Ayelet Zurer, who was this week confirmed to play Vittoria Vetra, Langdon's sidekick in the film and the daughter of a murdered scientist at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).

Initially set for a Christmas 2008 release, Angels and Demons will now hit UK screens in May 2009 after being delayed by the Hollywood writers' strike.

McGregor, 37, revealed this week that he recently had a mole removed from his face after a routine check-up revealed "a little skin cancer" below his right eye.

25/04/2008 10:20:16