New Line Cinema has taken possession rights of THE RITE, the true story of an American priest who studied at an exorcism school in Italy. The story is based on an upcoming non-fiction Doubleday book that will hit shelves in early 2009. The story is written by Rome-based journalist Matt Baglio, who was allowed to follow a young priest during months of training with a senior exorcist at a school affiliated with the Vatican.
Although the book is not finished and the screenplay won't be completed until after the strike, the theatrical version is expected to include scenes of exorcisms based on the priest's experiences.. Michael Petroni signed on to write the adapted screenplay before the writers strike. Fletcher & Parry Films will co-produce with Contrafilm.