Russell Crowe is real-life exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth in the new trailer for The Pope’s Exorcist. 1973’s classic film The Exorcist made horror gold out of demonic possession, becoming one of the most influential fright films of all-time. To this day, supernatural thrillers centered on demons possessing humans continue to be a huge draw through films like Insidious, The Conjuring and Sinister.
But a new Exorcist-style demonic possession movie claims to put a real-life spin on the supernatural genre, by adapting the memoir of priest and Vatican Chief Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth.
In the first trailer for The Pope’s Exorcist (via Sony), Gladiator star Crowe plays Amorth, a Catholic priest who claimed to have performed thousands of exorcisms in his lifetime, later publishing multiple books on the subject, and even getting a documentary directed by Exorcist helmer William Friedkin.
Everything We Know About The Pope’s Exorcist
Taking a page from the Conjuring movies, which purport to be based on the real-life experiences of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Pope’s Exorcist touts how it is based on the “actual files” of Father Amorth. The paranormal investigation angle is indeed teased in the above trailer, but so too is the full-on Exorcist-style demon-fighting that is a hallmark of the demonic possession genre. Clearly, though The Pope’s Exorcist draws on real-life subject-matter, it is going for a genuine supernatural horror feel (which may indeed require it to leave reality behind at some points).
Crowe holding down the role of Father Amorth certainly gives The Pope’s Exorcist an extra bit of gravitas (as Crowe follows up his Thor: Love and Thunder performance by taking on another crazy accent). Joining the Gladiator star in the cast are Daniel Zovatto (Lady Bird), Alex Essoe (The Midnight Club), Franco Nero (Django Unchained) and Ralph Ineson (The Northman) as the voice of the demon.
Directed by Julius Avery (Overlord) from a script by Michael Petroni and Evan Spiliotopoulos, The Pope’s Exorcist releases on April 7, 2023.
More: The Exorcist Timeline Explained: What Order To Watch Every Movie
Source: Sony Pictures Releasing UK