- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
Russell Crowe is set to star in The Pope’s Exorcist, a supernatural thriller that Julius Avery, the helmer behind the 2018 horror movie Overlord, will direct for Screen Gems.
Crowe will portray real-life figure Father Gabriele Amorth, a priest who acted as chief exorcist of the Vatican and who performed more than 100,000 exorcisms in his lifetime. (He passed away in 2016 at the age of 91.) Amorth wrote two memoirs — An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories — and detailed his experiences battling demons that had clutched people in their evil.
Screen Gems previously acquired the life rights to the chief exorcist from Michael Patrick Kaczmarek and faith-based media company Loyola Productions; the deal included rights to Amorth’s two international best-selling tomes. Amorth also left behind other troves of detailed accounts of his exploits of pulling the devil out of people all over the world.
“It’s been a goal of mine to work with Russell,” said Avery in a statement. “To collaborate with him on the amazing Pope’s Exorcist is truly a dream come true.”
Producing are Doug Belgrad via his 2.0 Entertainment as well as Kaczmarek, who produces via his shingle, Jesus & Mary, Loyola president Eddie Siebert and Jeff Katz of Worldwide Katz.
A September start of production in Ireland is being planned.
The current script is by Evan Spiliotopoulos with revisions by Chuck MacLean. That in turn is based on Michael Petroni-revised original drafts by Chester Hastings & R. Dean McCreary.
Scott Strauss, Michael Bitar and Giselle Johnson are overseeing the project for Screen Gems.
Avery, who is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, next has Samaritan, a superhero thriller starring Sylvester Stallone, hitting Amazon on Aug. 26.
Crowe, who won an Oscar for his work in 2000’s Gladiator, is heading into a busy period. He recently wrapped a turn in Sony’s Marvel movie Kraven the Hunter, and chews up the scenery as Zeus in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, with the latter opening July 8.
He also has a couple of movies in the can, including Peter Farrelly’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, set up at Apple, and Poker Face, which he directed, wrote, and is starring in opposite Liam Hemsworth and RZA.
Crowe is repped by Brillstein Entertainment and Goodman Genow. Petroni is repped by UTA and Industry Entertainment. Hastings and McCreary are repped by Gersh and Gochman Law.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
‘He Went That Way’ Review: Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto in True Crime Misfire Awkwardly Stuck Between Genre Cracks
‘The Fabelmans’ Breakout Chloe East in Talks for A24 Thriller from Scott Beck, Bryan Woods (Exclusive)
Owen Teague Talks ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ and Meeting with Andy Serkis for the New ‘Apes’ Movie