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 (“1408”), “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. An Oscar® winner for his iconic portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” Hopkins’ impressive career includes “The Remains of the Day” and this year’s “The Wolfman,” as well as the upcoming comics-based film “Thor.”
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. Braga will next be seen this summer in “Predators.” Her additional credits include “I Am Legend” and “City of God.”
Ciarán Hinds portrays Father Xavier. Known for his role as Gaius Julius Caesar in HBO’s “Rome,” Hinds will soon be seen in the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” films.
Toby Jones plays the role of Father Matthew. Jones has appeared in such films as “Frost/Nixon,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and “The Painted Veil” and will soon be seen in “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Veteran actor Rutger Hauer takes on the role of Michael’s father, Istvan Kovak. Hauer’s career includes roles in “Blade Runner,” “The Hitcher,” “Sin City” and “Batman Begins.”
Håfström previously directed the John Cusack thriller “1408,” and “Derailed,” starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. His most recent film, “Shanghai,” also starring John Cusack, will be in theaters later this year. 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 28 2011, New Line Cinema’s “The Rite” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.