Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The Last Exorcism Part II, in a deal that has just been closed with Studiocanal. The film will be released March 1, 2013.

Ashley Bell reprises her lead role in the thriller, which Ed Gass-Donnelly directed from a script he wrote with Damien Chazelle. The 2010 original was released by Lionsgate and grossed a devilish $68 million worldwide on a $1.8 million budget to become one of the most lucrative genre films in a long time. Eli Roth produced the film along with Marc Abraham, Thomas A. Bliss and Eric Newman of Strike Entertainment. Patty Long and Gabrielle Neimand served as executive producers.

Continuing where the first film left off, Nell Sweetzer (Bell) is found alone and terrified in the woods. Back in the relative safety of civilization, Nell realizes that she can’t remember entire portions of the previous months only that she is the last surviving member of her family. Just as Nell begins the difficult process of starting a new life, the evil force that once possessed her is back with other, unimaginably horrific plans that mean her last exorcism was just the beginning.

CBS Films’ Scott Shooman negotiated the deal with Studiocanal’s Harold van Lier. Studiocanal, which financed the film, will release it in the UK, France and Germany. Said van Lier: “Heading into AFM we knew that the creative team behind The Last Exorcism Part II had delivered a bigger, scarier sequel. CBS Films came to the table with a clear vision for the film’s release and we feel that we’ve found the perfect partner to take this franchise to the next level.”