Sagas like The Conjuring, Insidious, all their spin-offs and a little before the Paranormal Activity set of films are proving that the supernatural is a big hype nowadays, and a very profitable theme for not so expensive big grossing movies. That’s why it is a common thing to happen that big studios are moving towards that direction, securing potential stories and characters for their own purposes. Now it’s the time for Sony Pictures, who has purchased the exploitation rights of the late Father Amorth memoirs in order to create their own saga of exorcism-themed films.
Reverend Gabriele Amorth (1925 –2016) was an Italian Roman Catholic Priest and an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who performed tens of thousands of exorcisms over his half a dozen plus decades as a Catholic Priest. He never served as “the Vatican‘s chief exorcist” or any similar role, despite popular media headlines. Although his name doesn’t ring a bell to the big audience, in the last couple of years he has been quite notorious for being the center of the documentary The Devil and Father Amorth (2017), directed by William Friedkin. In it, the veteran filmmaker follows Father Amorth in his quest of performing a real exorcism on an Italian woman. The movie questions science and supernatural, psychology and religious rites, in order to diagnose and eventually cure something so mysterious and threatening as a demonic possession.
In his long ride as a Vatican exorcist, Father Amorth has written a good bunch of memoirs that have been published. Books like An Exorcist Tells His Story (1999), An Exorcist: More Stories (2002) and An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels (2016), only to name a few, could stand as the most notorious ones. Now, his stories with hundreds of documented cases of possible demonical possessions can be the object of a series of films developed by Sony.
What are their plans? Will they start a franchise where a fictitious Father Amorth will fight against Evil? Or perhaps will they set up a bunch of anonymous characters in situations based on the experiences in the books? That is yet to know. But what seems clear is that now that William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973), undisputedly the best movie in this genre, is turning 45 years old, the fighters against Evil are going to be quite busy on the silver screen.
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