Russell Crowe is set to star in Screen Gems’ “The Pope’s Exorcist,” based on Father Gabriele Amorth, the legendary Italian priest who performed over 100,000 exorcisms for the Vatican, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
Juluis Avery, who directed 2018 horror movie “Overlord,” is set to helm the project.
Screen Gems had previously acquired the life rights to Chief Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth from Michael Patrick Kaczmarek and media company Loyola. Part of the deal includes rights to Father Amorth’s two international bestselling memoirs “An Exorcist Tells His Story” and “An Exorcist: More Stories.”
Father Amorth, who died in 2016, left behind a trove of detailed accounts of his exploits driving the devil out of people all over the world.
The current draft of the script was written by Evan Spiliotopoulos with revisions by Chuck MacLean, based on Michael Petroni-revised original drafts by Chester Hastings and R. Dean McCreary.
Scott Strauss, Michael Bitar and Giselle Johnson are overseeing for Screen Gems.
Doug Belgrad of 2.0 Entertainment will be producing along with Michael Patrick Kaczmarek, Jeff Katz of Worldwide Katz, and Loyola Productions President Eddie Siebert.
Crowe most recently completed filming on Sony’s “Kraven The Hunter,” starring Aaron Taylor Johnson, as well as “Poker Face,” which he directed and stars in opposite Liam Hemsworth and RZA. He will next be seen in “Thor: Love and Thunder” playing Zeus, and in Peter Farrelly’s “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” for Apple TV+.
Avery has directed “Son of A Gun,” plus “Overlord,” produced by Bad Robot for Paramount, and most recently “Samaritan,” which is being released later this year on Amazon. It stars Sylvester Stallone.
Crowe is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP (GGSSC). Avery is represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman. Michael Patrick Kaczmarek, Jeff Katz and Loyola Productions are repped by UTA. Michael Petroni is repped by UTA and Industry Entertainment. Hastings & McCreary are repped by Gersh and Gochman Law.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.