Choosing an unusual theme for its new film feature, New Line Cinema is on the move to make a picture focusing on exorcism entitled "The Rite", which will tell the true story of an American priest who studied this practice of evicting demons in Italy.
Project turns out to be based on the upcoming nonfiction book by Matt Baglio, a Rome-based journalist who was allowed to follow the young priest during his months of training with a senior exorcist at a school affiliated with the Vatican. The book, subtitled "The Making of a Modern Day Exorcist", has been slated for publication in early 2009 under Doubleday.
It is expected that the picture will also included some scenes of exorcisms based on the priest's experiences though the original material is not finished yet. Meanwhile, script has been entrusted into the hands of Michael Petroni to write just before the WGA strike. Petroni is recognized to be a natural fit for the subject, having penned screenplays for 2002's "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" and the upcoming "Possession."
Set to produce are Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson of Contrafilm with Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, and Merideth Finn all overseeing the flick for New Line. Finn was the one who found the project for the company as a book proposal in early 2007 and acquired it from Baglio's literary agent Christy Fletcher.