After the tremendous success of the new “Halloween” trilogy, Blumhouse and Universal are gearing up to revive another iconic horror franchise: “The Exorcist.” As we celebrate its 50th anniversary, “The Exorcist” (directed by William Friedkin in 1973) remains one of the most terrifying movies of all time. Brace yourself for the reboot of “The Exorcist” as we delve into the release date, cast, synopsis, and more.
A New Trilogy Continues the Legacy
Jason Blum, the master of horror through his production company Blumhouse, sees a golden opportunity in this momentous anniversary. Pazuzu seems ready to return, possibly earning a spot on our list of the greatest recent horror films. Like the successful approach taken by the “Halloween” saga, the reboot of “The Exorcist” will serve as a direct continuation of Friedkin’s original masterpiece, disregarding the many previous sequels. Blumhouse aims to replicate that success, and to do so, they have enlisted director David Gordon Green, who stated that Friedkin will not be involved in the new trilogy. Green emphasizes that the reboot will be narratively linked to the original through its characters, rather than stylistic parallels. While not following Friedkin’s style, Green aims to deepen our understanding of Chris MacNeil and her significance. In fact, if MacNeil is as talented in music as John Carpenter, we may even get a trombone version of “Tubular Bells” in the film.
A Checkered Past and a Cult Following
Let’s not forget the somewhat lackluster sequel, “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (directed by John Boorman in 1977), and the third installment, “The Exorcist III” (directed by William Peter Blatty in 1990), which has gained a cult following over the years. Then came the underwhelming prequels of the early 2000s: “Exorcist: The Beginning” (directed by Renny Harlin in 2004) and “Exorcist: Dominion” (directed by Paul Schrader in 2005), with the latter considered one of the best horror movies on Netflix. Additionally, “The Exorcist” became a television series from 2016 to 2018, produced by 20th Century Fox. However, it only lasted for 20 episodes and failed to make a significant impact.
“The Exorcist: Believer” – Official Title
The upcoming film will be titled ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ (El creyente).
Prepare for a Halloween Delight
Mark your calendars, horror enthusiasts! The reboot of “The Exorcist” is set to release on October 11, 2023, just in time for Halloween and the film’s 50th anniversary.
A Synopsis That Promises Chills and Thrills
Though the exact plot remains a mystery, we can be certain that one or more demonic entities will possess the bodies of the protagonists, leading to a spine-chilling exorcism performed by one or more priests. Expect spinning heads, levitation, green vomit, holy water, crucifixes, and all the hallmarks of demonic possession.
The official synopsis reads as follows: Since his pregnant wife’s tragic death in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Victor Fielding (played by Tony-winning and Oscar-nominated Leslie Odom Jr.) has been taking care of their daughter, Angela (Lidya Jewett). However, when Angela and her friend Katherine (newcomer Olivia Marcum) vanish in a forest for three days and return with no memory of what happened, a series of events unfolds that forces Victor to confront the pinnacle of evil. Desperate and terrified, he seeks help from Chris MacNeil (the Academy Award-winning Ellen Burstyn), the only person who has witnessed something similar.
Returning Faces and New Additions
The burning question for fans is: Will Linda Blair, the iconic girl from “The Exorcist,” make a return? The answer is a resounding yes. Regan will be featured in the sequel, though Blair’s presence might be limited to a simple cameo. While Blair seemed to have closed the door on the franchise in a tweet from 2021, perhaps she has had a change of heart.
So far, the only other original cast member confirmed to return is Ellen Burstyn, reprising her role as Chris MacNeil. Burstyn initially declined numerous offers to appear in another “Exorcist” installment, but when they doubled their offer and connected the opportunity to scholarships for talented students at Pace University, she couldn’t refuse.
Unfortunately, Max Von Sydow (Father Merrin) passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 90, and Jason Miller (Father Karras) and Lee J. Cobb (Lieutenant Kinderman) are no longer with us.
Joining the cast is Leslie Odom Jr., internationally recognized for his performance in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton.” The reboot’s production was interrupted in December due to the actress’s health issues, reigniting speculations about the alleged curse of “The Exorcist.”
Ann Dowd, known for her role as Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” has also joined the cast. Dowd received Emmy nominations for her performances in the HBO Max series and won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2017. David Gordon Green previously worked with Dowd on “Our Brand Is Crisis” (2015), and he produced the film “Compliance” (2012), which revitalized Dowd’s career. Dowd is no stranger to horror, having appeared in movies like “Hereditary.”
Sneak Peeks and Chills
Universal and Blumhouse have unveiled the first posters for “The Exorcist: Believer,” providing a glimpse of the upcoming terror. Stay tuned for the official trailer, which is sure to send shivers down your spine.
And there you have it, all the juicy details surrounding the highly anticipated reboot of “The Exorcist.” Get ready to face your fears and celebrate the 50th anniversary with a bone-chilling cinematic experience. For more exciting updates on “The Exorcist: Believer,” head over to Ratingperson.