The Pope’s Exorcist is a 2023 American supernatural horror film directed by Julius Avery from a screenplay by Michael Petroni and Evan Spiliotopoulos, based on the 1990 book An Exorcist Tells His Story and the 1992 book An Exorcist: More Stories by Father Gabriele Amorth. The film stars Russell Crowe as Amorth, with Daniel Zovatto, Alex Essoe, and Franco Nero in supporting roles.
Production began in 2020 when Screen Gems purchased the rights to Amorth’s story. After a directorial replacement and script revisions, filming took place from August to October 2022 in Ireland.
The Pope’s Exorcist was released in several international countries beginning on April 6, 2023, and in the United States on April 14. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $61 million worldwide.
In October 2020, Screen Gems acquired the rights to the story of Father Gabriele Amorth with Ángel Gómez hired to direct. Chester Hastings and R. Dean McCreary were attached to write the script, while Michael Patrick Kaczmarek, Jeff Katz, and Edward “Eddie” Siebert were set to produce the film. In June 2022, Julius Avery boarded the film as director along with producer Doug Belgrad of 2.0 Entertainment. Subsequent script revisions were provided by Michael Petroni, Evan Spiliotopoulos, and Chuck MacLean.
Deepa Barath at AP News recounts,”The Rev. Edward Siebert, about six years ago, worried about the deal he had just closed with the Society of St. Paul to purchase the rights to the life story of the Rev. Gabriele Amorth — the late Pauline priest known as ‘the James Bond of exorcists.’ Siebert, who teaches film at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and runs the college’s film production company, had no motion picture credits to his name and wondered at the time: ‘What have I gone and done?’ … Siebert, who worked for nearly eight years to bring Amorth’s story to the big screen, says ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ has not changed his views about horror films or exorcism; both give him the chills. But it warms his heart to see a priest shown in a positive light after so many films and TV shows have vilified or belittled them. ‘It’s good to see a priest talking about prayer, forgiveness, God’s love, and on top of all that, vanquishing demons,’ he said. ‘It feels good to finally see a priest as a hero.'”
- Russell Crowe as Father Gabriele Amorth
- Daniel Zovatto as Father Esquibel
- Alex Essoe as Julia
- Franco Nero as the Pope
- Laurel Marsden as Amy
- Peter DeSouza-Feighoney as Henry
- Cornell John as Bishop Lumumba
- Ryan O’Grady as Cardinal Sullivan (voice)
- Ralph Ineson as Asmodeus (voice)
April 5, 2023
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