Michael Peña, who recently rose to worldwide attention after starring as the motor-mouthed best friend of Marvel’s superhero Ant-Man Paul Rudd stars anew in the upcoming thriller, The Vatican Tapes. He portrays the role of an ex-military soldier turned priest.
In the movie, a young woman named Angela begins as a normal, healthy girl, but as the story progresses, she spirals into a possessed and demonic state that has her family turning to the church for exorcism. Taking on the difficult task to drive away the evil that possessed Angela is Father Lozano (Peña) who becomes deeply involved in Angela’s condition, and ultimately the battle of good versus evil.
Peña’s distinguished body of work also includes his roles in Oscar-winning films Crash (Paul Haggis), Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood), and the recent Oscar nominated film, American Hustle.
According to the actor, he was initially drawn to The Vatican Tapes by the uniqueness of the script as well as his relationship with producers, Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.
“I was initially interested in the script because it wasn’t written like a typical horror movie,” says Peña. “There were action sequences and unique elements to this thriller film, but they’re justified by the plot. I also have a longstanding relationship with Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi.”
The filmmakers were thrilled that Peña joined the cast. “I’m incredibly happy and honored that he did this film,” says director Neveldine. “I think he was drawn in by the opportunity to do a movie with great actors and a script that was really well written.”
The story of The Vatican Tapes is primarily set in modern day Los Angeles with the exception of a few scenes that take place in and around the Vatican.
Neveldine brings back the film’s desire to have a natural element in both the story and execution: “What happens in this film could really happen to you. It could happen to any of us.”
The Vatican Tapes will open on August 19 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.