Penchant Entertainment has announced that they have acquired the film and television rights to the New York Times best-selling nonfiction book Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans penned by Father Malachi Martin, the inspiration behind The Exorcist. Penchant has both a film and series adaptions in mind.
First published in 1976 and selling over a million copies, Hostage to the Devil recounts examples of possession and exorcisms in modern times. It also spawned a documentary in 2016, titled Hostage to the Devil. Erin Eggers, Chase Hudson, and Matthew Porter will produce the series and film., Bloody Disgusting reports.
In Hostage to the Devil, Martin presents a chilling and thoroughly-researched analysis of demonic possession and the Rite of Exorcism, offering rich new details on the practice and its participants never explored on screen. Presenting exorcism as an epic battle between priest and demon, Martin reveals how this profoundly personal battle can span a lifetime, exacting an enormous toll on the priest, who sacrifices a piece of his humanity each time he confronts these demonic forces.
Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit priest, professor and theologian-turned-author of 15 novels and nonfiction books, was an acknowledged expert on and frequent critic of the Catholic Church. After moving to New York in 1965, Martin began to focus extensively on demonic Possession and assisted in nearly a dozen Exorcisms before beginning his work on Hostage to the Devil.
Although frequently referred to as the inspiration for William Blatty’s famed novel, THE EXORCIST, Malachi Martin was a harsh critic of the book and the resulting film, believing both to be grossly inaccurate and potentially dangerous. Professional feuds aside, Martin feared the eroding effects of reducing demonic Possession into simple entertainment and wrote Hostage to the Devil “as a clear warning that Possession is not—nor was it ever—some tale of dark fancy featuring ogres and happy endings. Possession is real, and real prices are paid.”