The Ritual: Al Pacino, Dan Stevens to star in exorcism horror film

Al Pacino and Dan Stevens are set to play troubled priests performing an exorcism in the horror film The Ritual

Al Pacino The Devil's Advocate

Al Pacino has played the Devil before (in the 1997 film The Devil’s Advocate), now he’s set to play an enemy of the Devil, as he has signed on to play a troubled priest in the exorcism horror film The Ritual. Pacino will star in the film alongside Dan Stevens of Abigail and Godzilla x Kong, who will also be playing a troubled priest.

Variety reports that XYZ Films has acquired the worldwide rights to The Ritual and are planning to give the movie a theatrical release sometime in 2025. They’ll be setting up international distribution deals at the upcoming Cannes Film Market. David Midell will be directing the film from a screenplay he wrote with Enrico Natale. He previously directed the 2014 drama NightLights and the 2019 thriller The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain.

Based on a true story, The Ritual will center on 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. Wikipedia confirms that Emma Schmidt (March 23, 1882 – July 23, 1941) was “an American woman whose alleged demonic possession and exorcism occurred over several decades, culminating in an extensive exorcism that lasted from August 18 to December 23, 1928, in Earling, Iowa. Ecklund was said to have exhibited symptoms akin to possession beginning at age fourteen, and was forty-six years old during her final exorcism by Father Theophilus Riesinger, a Roman Catholic priest.”

Ashley Greene (Twilight) and Abigail Cowen (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) join Pacino and Stevens in the cast.

Natale is producing The Ritual with Andrew Stevens and Mitchell Welch.

How does The Ritual sound to you? Are you interested in watching a movie that has Al Pacino and Dan Stevens as priests trying to save a woman from demonic possession? Do you think they should ditch the generic title? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.

The Guest Dan Stevens

Source: Variety

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.