Though it’s only been a few years since Hollywood last made a go at capitalizing on Warner Bros.’ Exorcist IP with a short-lived Fox series, it won’t be long before audiences are invited to watch yet another story about priests trying to save unsuspecting people who are possessed by malevolent beings from hell.
While the deal isn’t finalized yet, the Observer reports that Blumhouse has chosen the Halloween reboot’s David Gordon Green to direct a sequel to William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. Jason Blum, David Robinson, and James Robinson will produce. It’s being referred to as a sequel but as you probably already know, The Exorcist has already had plenty of those; Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Exorcist III (1990), Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005). It’s probably a safe bet Green will go the same route as his Halloween revamp and ignore all of those.
While there are currently no details, about a creative team or plot, it stands to reason that the new film will be shaped by Blumhouse’s lower-budget approach to producing horror. Though if you were paying attention to Morning Spoilers recently you know that the original director of 1973's The Exorcist, William Friedkin, made clear he’s not involved with any new version. “There’s not enough money or motivation in the world to get me to do this,” he wrote. Writer Blatty passed away in 2017.
Rather overexposed as The Exorcist is because of the original’s status as a cultural touchstone, Blumhouse is going to have to figure out a way to make the idea of a Catholic priest rolling up to rid people of their demons feel novel. With duds like Warrior Nun and Helstrom fresh in people’s minds, yet another Exorcist that more or less follows in the footsteps of other stories within that franchise could easily end up feeling stale. Let’s hope the studio realizes this and has a vision in mind to ensure that doesn’t turn out to be the case.
For his part, David Gordon Green has a hefty plate of horror coming up. Besides the next Halloween film, it was recently announced that he’d be working on another reboot—a Hellraiser TV show, and this one with original creator Clive Barker on board.
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