Inspired by true events, The Rite follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue), who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While in Rome, he meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who introduces him to the darker side of his faith.
Directed by Mikael Håfström, The Rite is a supernatural thriller that uncovers the devil’s reach to even one of the holiest places on Earth. Contrafilms’ Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) are producing the film. The screenplay was penned by Michael Petroni (upcoming The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), inspired by the book by Matt Baglio. Christy Fletcher and Emma Parry are co-producing. Richard Brener, Merideth Finn and Robert Bernacchi serve as executive producers.
Hopkins stars as Father Lucas. Making his feature film debut, O’Donoghue stars as Michael Kovak, the disillusioned American seminary student. Alice Braga plays the role of Angeline, a journalist in Rome doing research on exorcisms. Ciarán Hinds portrays Father Xavier. Toby Jones plays the role of Father Matthew, and veteran actor Rutger Hauer takes on the role of Michael’s father, Istvan Kovak.
Håfström previously directed the John Cusack thriller 1408 and Derailed, starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. His film Evil, which he wrote and directed, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2004 Academy Awards® and won three Swedish Guldbagge Awards, including Best Film.
Slated for release in January 2011, New Line Cinema’s The Rite will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.