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Al Pacino, Dan Stevens to play troubled priests in exorcism horror ‘The Ritual’

Al Pacino, Dan Stevens to play troubled priests in exorcism horror ‘The Ritual’

Baku, April 24, AZERTAC

Al Pacino and Dan Stevens have teamed up for exorcism horror film “The Ritual” from director David Midell, according to Variety.

XYZ Films has acquired worldwide rights to the feature, with plans to release it theatrically in 2025 and arrange international distribution at the upcoming Cannes market.

“The Ritual” was written by Midell and Enrico Natale and produced by Andrew Stevens, Mitchell Welch and Natale. Ashley Greene and Abigail Cowen round out the cast.

Based on a true story, “The Ritual” follows two priests — one questioning his faith (Stevens) and one reckoning with a troubled past (Pacino) — who must put aside their differences to save a possessed young woman through a difficult and dangerous series of exorcisms. The film is an authentic portrayal of Emma Schmidt, an American woman whose demonic possession culminated in harrowing exorcisms. Her case remains the most thoroughly documented exorcism in American history.

BondIt Media Capital provided financing for the project, with Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor, and Tyler Gould for BondIt serving as Executive Producers.

Pacino has multiple projects in the pipeline, including “Modi,” the Johnny Depp-directed biopic of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. Stevens, meanwhile, is currently on a roll thanks to leading roles in both “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” and “Abigail.”

Midell’s last film, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,” was released theatrically in 2019 to critical acclaim, including multiple Independent Spirit Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award and a Gotham Award for outstanding lead performance for Frankie Faison.

Natale is Midell’s creative partner and the other half of the team behind “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,” which he produced, edited and starred in. Midell and Natale’s collaborations have produced over a dozen film festival awards, three Independent Spirit Awards nominations and a Gotham Award.

Pacino is repped by CAA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox. Stevens is represented by CAA, Julian Belfrage Associates and Peikoff Mahan Law Office. Midell is repped by XYZ Films.

Current titles from XYZ Films include Sundance title “Skywalkers: A Love Story,” which sold to Netflix; “Blackberry,” starring Gotham and Independent Spirit nominee Glenn Howerton, which was released by IFC Films; Atom Egoyan’s TIFF selection “Seven Veils” starring Amanda Seyfried; “Ash,” starring Eiza González and Aaron Paul and directed by Flying Lotus; recent TIFF acquisition “Backspot” starring Devery Jacobs and Evan Rachel Wood; the Netflix Original “Havoc,” directed by Gareth Evans and starring Tom Hardy and Forrest Whitaker; and “Daniela Forever,” directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starring Henry Golding and Beatrice Grannó.

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