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About The Production
"THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE first came to my attention on a rainy Sunday afternoon when Clint Culpepper, President of Screen Gems, called me up – ‘I'm 40 pages into this script. You have to read it,' Clint said, " recalls producer Gary Lucchesi. "So I drove over to Kinko's, met Clint, and started reading the screenplay as he was copying it. I took it home and within the hour I'd read 125 pages, not because I'm a fast reader, but because the story and the screenplay were so provocative. We bought the script that night.”

Derrickson and Boardman by chance came across the true story that inspired the screenplay and were immediately intrigued. "Paul and I were doing research for a Jerry Bruckheimer script. We were working with a New York city police officer who specializes in researching paranormal phenomena,” Derrickson remembers.

"The officer played us an audio taped excerpt from an actual exorcism that was absolutely bone chilling,” says Boardman. "He gave us some background on exorcisms that was just fascinating.”

"I was very moved by the fact that this young girl had lost her life,” says Derrickson. "The questions that the story raises are incredibly provocative and I knew a film, by bringing the story to light, would cause audiences to ask the very same questions.”

"We found the young woman to be a very compelling character. Our hearts went out to her,” Boardman adds. "Given the inherent structure of the story that concludes in a court case, we saw a way to present issues of belief and varying perspectives on the truth. At the same time, hers was such a frightening experience that we knew we could create tremendous horror sequences that would build the supernatural side of the story as well.” "This film addresses a fundamental fear, by asking the question - does evil exist?” notes producer Tom Rosenberg. "If evil does exist, is it omnipotent and what do you do in the face of it?”

A Vatican-backed college is launching a new course for exorcists - Roman Catholic priests who cast out evil spirits from the possessed. Lessons at the prestigious Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum will include the history of Satanism and its context in the Bible. Practical lessons in psychology and the law will also feature. Concern is high in Italy about the influence of satanic cults - especially among the young and impressionable.

And there will also be seminars at the Athenaeum, or Upra as it is known, on the spiritual, liturgical and pastoral work involved in being an exorcist.


"I think what's uniquely frightening about this movie is that we're dealing with a subject that everyone knows is real. People really do undergo exorcisms,” says Derrickson. "When you watch Linda Blair in The Exorcist, the special effects and the makeup effects are so extreme that there's a degree of disbelief. In this film, the possession and exorcism scenes are equally disturbing, and they're certainly violent and extreme, but they're believable. Jennifer Carpenter's performance allowed me to make a movie that doesn't depend on visual effects, because her performance is truly extraordinary and counterintuitive. It feels like nothing I've ever seen before.”

Casting the film began with finding the right actors to portray Erin Bruner and Father Richard Moore. These two characters ground the drama and embody the two sides of the argument. Erin is the skeptic, while Father Moore is a man of unshakeable faith.

"We decided that the best way to tell this story was through the eyes of a secular character, that being Erin Bruner,” Tripp Vinson explains. As Father Moore's attorney, Erin embarks on an inner journey, one that takes her from a place of smug certainty out to the boundaries circumscribed by her fears and beyond into the realm of possibility.



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