As Russell Crowe explained to The Digital Fix recently, “I’m not really a horror movie fan,” and that may at least partly be down to a traumatic experience he had watching The Exorcist as a teenager. However, due to The Pope’s Exorcist making over $50 million so far, a sequel is reportedly in early development, according to Bloody Disgusting.
The Pope’s Exorcist has certainly proved divisive with critics, as it has exactly 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Our own Pope’s Exorcist review said that Crowe’s role of Father Amorth “perfectly suits an actor with the undeniable presence (both physical and psychological) of Crowe at his gruffest and most impressively bearded. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for mischief, with Crowe giving Amorth an impish side.”
“I saw [The Exorcist] when I was 14. I don’t need to see it again. I really don’t,” he explained in our Russell Crowe interview. “I saw it in a movie theatre in Auckland, New Zealand, actually. It was on probably its fourth or fifth run. This usher in the theatre, halfway through, decided it was a funny idea to bang the roof of the theatre with a broom. The 500 of us in the theatre did not share his sense of humour in that moment.”
So why did Crowe make his first ever horror movie, it’s because surprisingly, The Pope’s Exorcist is based on a true story; “To me, the experience of reading about the [real] person and meeting the people who worked with him, meeting with his friends, going to see where he lived, that became very compelling for me to do the role, even though I’m not really a horror fan,” Crowe told The Digital Fix.
The Pope’s Exorcist was made for a rumoured budget of just $18 million, meaning that its current takings of $52 million represents a healthy profit. It’s easy to see how more movies could be made about the real-life exorcist, as he performed tens of thousands of exorcisms.
While we wait to see if the sequel is confirmed, check out our guide to the best ghost movies.