The Exorcism Director Had No Idea Russell Crowe Was Also Starring in The Pope's Exorcist

Joshua John Miller's The Exorcism hits theaters June 21.

Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin are back again with their latest film, The Exorcism. The dynamic duo have enlisted Academy-Award winner Russell Crowe to play Anthony Miller, a troubled actor who begins to unravel while on set of a horror movie. With a past of addiction, his estranged daughter Lee (Ryan Simpkins) begins to wonder if he's falling back into old habits or if there's something more sinister at play.

Film star Crowe was the lead in 2023 supernatural horror The Pope's Exorcist but Miller and Fortin explain to Comicbook that they were unaware that he had already been working on another horror project. Director Miller explains why he "wasn't happy" about it originally.

"No [he didn't know he was in the film], and I wasn't happy about it originally. But now in an interesting way, It kind of actually is helping The Exorcism and now people are like, 'oh, is this -- wait, are they connected?' The brand confusion? That's a whole other conversation," Miller said. "But I think there's something actually awesome about, 'oh, there's a movie that's a literal straight genre movie and now there's a making of an exorcist movie?' I think there's a cool conversation to be had about that."

Miller continued, "I mean, that guy [Crowe], I don't think he would admit to being afraid of anything. He's tough, even though he's incredibly vulnerable. But I think that ultimately, I was angry and p---ed and then I thought, 'who cares? You know, our movie is so different. Who cares?' Ultimately, you make the movie you gotta make and that's all you can do. You just focus on the process you make it the best you can. That's all that matters, focusing on trying to make it better and better and better and better as long as you can. As I said, I look at the movie right now and I'm like, 'I want to do 30 more things to it.' In a year, I'll feel the same way and we're trying to just enjoy the process right now and that's it."

The Exorcism from Vertical also stars actress and singer/songwriter Chloe Bailey, Avatar's Sam Worthington, Julia on Max's David Hyde Pierce, and Pet Sematary: Bloodlines' Samantha Mathis. The film releases in theaters June 21, 2024.