‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ Finds Its Pope In ‘Django’s Franco Nero; Laurel Marsden, Cornell S. John & Peter DeSouza-Feighoney Also Set For Screen Gems Thriller

·2 min read

EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Italian actor Franco Nero (Django) has been tapped to play the Pope in Screen Gems’ supernatural thriller The Pope’s Exorcist, with Laurel Marsden (Ms. Marvel), Cornell S. John (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) and newcomer Peter DeSouza-Feighoney also now set for the film from director Julius Avery. They join an ensemble led by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe, which also includes Alex Essoe and Daniel Zovatto, as previously announced.

The film centers on Father Gabriele Amorth (Crowe), the legendary Italian priest who performed over 100,000 exorcisms for the Vatican—drawing on his international bestselling memoirs An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories. (Father Amorth, who died in 2016, left behind a trove of additional accounts of his exploits pulling the devil out of people all over the world. Screen Gems acquired his life rights for the project, as well as rights to his memoirs.) Details as to the roles Marsden, John and DeSouza-Feighoney will be playing haven’t been disclosed.

More from Deadline

The Pope’s Exorcist has been gestating at Screen Gems for a number of years, with Ángel Gómez having previously been attached to direct as of 2020. Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the current draft of the script, with revisions by Chuck MacLean and Michael Petroni, which is based on a Petroni-revised original draft by Chester Hastings & R. Dean McCreary. Doug Belgrad of 2.0 Entertainment is producing along with Michael Patrick Kaczmarek for Jesus & Mary, Jeff Katz of Worldwide Katz, and Loyola Productions President Eddie Siebert, with Scott Strauss, Michael Bitar and Giselle Johnson overseeing the project for Screen Gems.

Nero is best known for his lead role in the Italian Spaghetti Western Django, which served as an inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, also leading the actor to become a pop culture icon, over the course of an international career of over 200 roles. Additional credits include Camelot, The Mercenary, The Battle of Neretva and Confessions of a Police Captain.

Marsden was most recently seen on Disney+’s Marvel series Ms. Marvel and will next star alongside Asa Butterfield and Natalia Dyer in the horror-thriller All Fun and Games.

John has been seen on series like Gangs of London, and in such films as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Nero is repped by Chatto & Linnit and Gavin Barker Associates in the UK, and by Muse Management; Marsden by Encompass and Zero Gravity Management; John by Curtis Brown Group in the UK; and DeSouza-Feighoney by Empire Kids Official Ltd.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.