Sony Screen Gems seems to be trying to find their very own The Conjuring series as today Deadline reports that the studio has snagged up exclusive life rights of Father Gabriele Amorth, the legendary Italian priest who performed tens of thousands of exorcisms for the Vatican.
Amorth is the subject of William Friedkin’s new doc The Devil and Father Amorth and I thinking Sony’s betting the film will bring just enough awareness to the man to kick off an Ed and Lorainne Warren style universe of horror films.
Former New Line and Fox exec and current ESPN broadcaster Jeff Katz is writing the script based on his treatment and will executive produce with Edward Siebert.
The Devil and Father Amorth Synopsis:
Years after he changed the landscape of American filmmaking with 1973’s THE EXORCIST, director, co-writer and legendary storyteller William Friedkin moves from fiction to fact with his new documentary, THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH. What began as a brief conversation between Friedkin and Father Gabrielle Amorth – the head Exorcist for the Diocese of Rome for over 30 years – as two professionals who knew of each other’s work soon transformed into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as Amorth agreed Friedkin could film an exorcism ceremony. It would be the ninth exorcism for a painfully afflicted woman, Cristina (a pseudonym), who had already been under Father Amorth’s care – and it would be filmed by Friedkin alone, with no other crew allowed, no light other than the natural light in the room and a small digital camera-and-mic unit that could capture the ritual and its revelations. Combining the startling and singular footage from Cristina’s exorcism with interviews from priests and psychologists, neurosurgeons and non-believers, Friedkin guides us on a journey into the twilight world between the boundaries of what we know and what we don’t with a singular and startling guide in the form of the urbane, charming and self-deprecatingly funny Father Amorth, a man who laughs in the face of the Devil both figuratively and literally. Combining Friedkin’s past memories and present observations with archival footage and new interviews – as well as also presenting what may be the only real exorcism ceremony captured on film – THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH is a startling and surprising story of the religion, the ritual and the real-world victims involved in possession and exorcism.