Oscar-winning The Godfather actor Al Pacino is set to team with Abigail star Dan Stevens in a new exorcism movie based on a true story.


  • Get ready for spine-tingling chills as Pacino and Stevens join forces in the based-on-fact exorcism movie
    The Ritual
  • Director David Midell brings the terrifying true story to life with a star-studded cast including Ashley Greene and Abigail Cowen.
  • The dynamic duo of Pacino and Stevens is sure to deliver a haunting and unforgettable experience in this upcoming film.

Oscar-winner Al Pacino is set to team with Dan Stevens in The Ritual, a new exorcism movie based on a true story. 1973’s blockbuster The Exorcist ignited an entirely new horror sub-genre, one that continues to attract audiences over 50 years later in 2024. Recent years have indeed seen a spate of movies built around spiritual warriors battling demonic entities, including titles like The Pope’s Exorcist, The Nun and The Wailing, just to name a few.

Yet one more entry in the exorcism genre is now headed to screens, as XYZ films announces The Ritual, a based-on-fact movie directed by David Midell, from a script by Midell and Enrico Natale, and starring Pacino and Stevens, along with Ashley Greene and Abigail Cowen. The movie is eyeing a 2025 release date.

What Is The Ritual About?

Dan Stevens as Charlie Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas looking pleased

The Ritual stars Pacino as a priest with a troubled past, who teams with doubting priest Stevens to help a young woman who is the victim of demonic possession. The story is based on the real life case of Emma Schmidt, an Iowa woman whose alleged possession went on for several decades, before she underwent a series of exorcisms in 1928. The British film The Exorcism of Anna Ecklund, released in 2016, was also based on Schmidt’s story.

Schmidt’s case is said to be the most thoroughly documented exorcism in American history.

Many an exorcism movie has tried to use the “true story” angle as a way of hooking audiences, but the approach is not always successful. The Ritual does seem to be sincere in selling itself as a based-on-fact exorcism story, one that has been fully documented, and is filled with lots of tragic and disturbing details. The movie’s best hook may indeed be the presence of Pacino, who follows in the footsteps of fellow Oscar-winner and Pope’s Exorcist star Russell Crowe in taking on the role of a priest tasked with battling demonic forces. The Ritual is now headed to the Cannes market in hopes of landing a distributor.

Source: XYZ Films

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