‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ Trailer | Moviefone
Thoughts of Russell Crowe, combat and Italy usually bring visions of ‘Gladiator’ to mind. But here, while he’s once again fighting battles, they’re of a more spiritual nature. Because the first trailer for ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ has him playing a real-life warrior in God’s army against demonic possession.
Is there a true story here?
‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ is based on the real-life experiences of Father Gabriele Amorth, an Italian Catholic priest and exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who claimed to have performed tens of thousands of exorcisms throughout his life. Amorth, along with five other priests, founded the International Association of Exorcists.
And somewhat naturally because of his line of work, Amorth also published a large number of books dealing with his experiences. He died in 2016.
The movie’s story follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden. Which means this feels more like ‘The Conjuring’ meets ‘The Da Vinci Code’ than any real-world exorcists.
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Who is involved with ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’?
Crowe, of course, is playing Father Gabriele, who here is portrayed in more of an action hero mode than your usual local priest. Which is logical, given that this is a movie rather than a documentary (an actual factual film about the man, William Fredkin’s ‘The Devil and Father Amorth’, was released back in 2017).
The cast also includes Franco Nero as the Pope (because you can’t really have the Pope’s exorcist without the pontiff, especially when one of the lines here is, “You have a problem with me, you talk to my boss: The Pope!”), Peter DeSouza-Feighoney, Cornell John, Alex Essoe, Paloma Boyd, Daniel Zovatto and Laurel Marsden.
And in a key role, British actor Ralph Ineson –– no stranger to horror after ‘The Witch’ provides the voice of the demon afflicting the boy.
Julius Avery, who dipped into the supernatural with 2018’s ‘Overlord’ is directing here, based on a script that has seen work by Chester Hastings, R. Dean McCreary, Michael Petroni and Evan Spiliotopoulos.
It was in development since at least 2020, when Screen Gems acquired the rights to Amorth’s story and Ángel Gómez was hired to direct. He has since been replaced by Avery, but the movie really moved forward in June 2022 when Crowe was cast as Amorth.
And despite being set largely in Rome, the film was actually shot in Dublin and Limerick, Ireland.
It’s also clearly a big year for exorcists as David Gordon Green’s ‘The Exorcist’ is due out later this year.
‘The Pope’s Exorcist’, meanwhile, will be in theaters on April 14th.
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