It seems we are officially getting a new chapter in The Exorcist franchise, whether we asked for one or not. According to a report by The Observer, Blumhouse studio has teamed with Morgan Creek Productions to produce the film, and 2018's Halloween director David Gordon Green has been brought on board to helm the project.
The news comes mere days after William Friedkin, the director of the original The Exorcist, took to Twitter to declare he is in no way connected to any remakes or sequels to his 1973 horror classic.
"There's a rumor on IMDB that I'm involved with a new version Of The Exorcist. This isn't a rumor, it's a flat-out lie. There's not enough money or motivation in the world To get me to do this."
According to The Observer report, the upcoming film will be a sequel to the original The Exorcist, rather than being The Exorcist Reboot as previously reported. That would make this the fifth sequel to the original movie. But rumors have long been swirling that the new Exorcist film will reboot the franchise in some manner and start from scratch.
1973's The Exorcist told the story of the demonic possession of 12-year-old Regan and her mother's attempt to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by two Roman Catholic priests. Based on this simple premise, Friedkin was able to create a movie that caused mass panic in theaters worldwide, was nominated for a slew of international awards, and is generally credited with putting the horror genre on the map as prestige cinema in a manner similar to what 2001: A Space Odyssey did for science fiction.
Unfortunately, later attempts by other directors to follow in Friedkin's footsteps led to mixed results. None of the sequels were able to match the pure, abject terror that audiences felt trapped in the room with Regan, the two priests, and the demon Pazuzu. The groundbreaking mix of special effects, horror sound mixing, and religious imagery that made the original The Exorcist so compelling seemed uninspired even as the sequels tried to double down on the horror elements of the franchise.
Hopefully, David Gordon Green will be able to do for the Exorcist franchise what he did for the Halloween series when he made the 2018 Halloween flick that saw an older Laurie Strode face off against Michael Myers one last time. Green's Halloween was successful enough to greenlight a trilogy of movies that promise to put the legend of Michael Myers to rest for the final time.
It will be interesting to see how a new The Exorcist film does in the modern horror landscape when special effects have become passe, and horror has become more reliant on creating the right atmosphere to induce psychological terror. In a lot of ways, the original The Exorcist represents the zenith of the in-your-face-gory section of horror that has been consigned to b-movie status in recent times. Many horror fans will be eager to see if the new reboot/sequel can restore that section of the genre to its former glory. This news first appeared at Observer.com.