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In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—Russell Crowe is ready to expel some demons. The Oscar-winning actor has signed on to star in a new thriller The Pope’s Exorcist. He will play real-life Vatican chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorthe, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Julius Avery, who helmed the 2018 horror flick Overlord, is set to direct the project for Screen Gems. The filmmaker is also currently working with Sylvester Stallone on the Prime Video superhero thriller Samaritan, which is set for an August 26 release on the streamer.
‘“It’s been a goal of mine to work with Russell,” Avery says in a statement on the new film, THR reports. “To collaborate with him on the amazing Pope’s Exorcist is truly a dream come true.”
The film will reportedly kick off principal production in September in Ireland, after Screen Gems acquired Amorthe’s life rights, including rights to his extensive memoirs, An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories. The two tomes chronicle the more than 100,000 exorcisms Amorthe, who died in 2016 at the age of 91, performed during his lifetime.
Evan Spilotopoulous adapted the works into the The Pope’s Exorcist current script. Chuck MacLean and Michael Petroni provided revisions, while Chester Hastins and R. Dean McCreary wrote an original draft. Doug Belgrad will produce, alongside Eddie Siebert and Jeff Katz. Scott Strauss, Michael Bitar and Giselle Johnson will oversee the film via Screen Gems.
The news of Crowe’s latest starring role comes on the heels of his upcoming turn as Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika Waititi’s latest MCU offering. Crowe is also gearing up to star in another Marvel outfit, Sony’s Kraven the Hunter, and Poker Face, which Crowe directed, wrote, and stars in with Liam Hemsworth and RZA.