EXCLUSIVE: Sony Screen Gems has acquired the exclusive life rights of Father Gabriele Amorth, the legendary Italian priest who performed tens of thousands of exorcisms for the Vatican.
Also part of the deal is rights to his two international bestselling memoirs An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories. Father Amorth, who died in 2016, left behind a trove of detailed accounts of his exploits pulling the devil out of people all over the world. It gives Screen Gems an opportunity to craft a genre franchise.
These thrillers work best when they are based on real stories, as evidenced by The Amityville Horror, The Haunting in Connecticut and The Conjuring and its hit spinoffs that are based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Michael Patrick Kaczmarek — who worked for years to acquire Amorth’s life rights, personal writings and case files from the priest’s Italian publisher — will produce. Loyola Productions President Edward Siebert, S.J., and former New Line and Fox exec and current ESPN broadcaster Jeff Katz will be exec producers. Katz is writing the script based on his treatment. Eriq Paquette will oversee for Screen Gems. UTA reps Kaczmarek, Loyola Productions and Katz.