Last year, Morgan Creek Entertainment announced they were making a reboot of the 1973 demonic possession classic, THE EXORCIST. The untitled film was originally slated for a 2021 release but Morgan Creek received so much backlash after the announcement that they began treading lightly and taking their time on the project. In December of 2020, David Gordon Green was announced as the director and that the film was delayed until 2022. Gordon Green’s name gave the project some credibility given the success that the director had with reinventing the Halloween franchise with his 2018 effort.
There had been some speculation about whether this is a sequel or reboot but the director is now confirming the film will be a direct sequel to the original and not a total reboot. Here is what David Gordon Green had to say while speaking to GamesRadar:
“The Exorcist has been written. That was one of my pandemic projects. It’s not inaccurate [that it will be a sequel to the original film]. I like all the Exorcist movies. And not only do I like them, I think they can all fall into the acceptable mythology for what I’m doing. It’s not like I’m saying, ‘Pretend that The Exorcist 2 never happened.’ That’s fine to exist. They’re all fine to exist, and I enjoy all of them.”
Judging by what he is saying, it appears Green’s The Exorcist won’t be a total retcon of the original film. By acknowledging subsequent sequels to the film, it seems like he’s going down a similar path that he did with 2018’s Halloween. That film was a direct sequel to the 1978 film, seemingly ignoring that the other sequels existed, but he did sprinkle in some Easter eggs from the sequels into his film that could appease hardcore fans of the franchise. Gordon Green went on to say that this is a film you do legacy research on with just screenwriting impulsively:
“It’s another fun legacy to be a part of, and hopefully we’ll get that going in the near future. That one is a lot of research, rather than just impulsive screenwriting. That’s one that you talk to a lot of people. You read a lot of books, and do a shit-load of interviews. There was such a dramatic authenticity to what that original film is. It’s a lot more than I anticipated getting into it. And I guess I was naive to think that. But it was very exhilarating to be involved in a lot of those conversations that you find yourself in.”
David Gordon Green seems to know that attacking a property like The Exorcist is no easy task and he seems passionate about honoring the film’s legacy. The original film, directed by William Friedkin from a screenplay by William Peter Blatty, is widely considered one of the best horror films of all time. The movie was a massive success when it was released in 1973, ultimately grossing $441.3 million globally across various runs on a $12 million budget. The Exorcist even dazzled critics, becoming the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, one of ten Academy Awards it was nominated for. The film ultimately won for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound.
That’s certainly a lot to live up to. Do YOU think David Gordon Green can pull it off?