Linda Blair, whose name is near synonymous with the iconic film, The Exorcist, will be sitting (or perhaps lying on a bed) this one out. On-screen mom, Ellen Burstyn, it was announced yesterday, will be at least one of the original cast to join Universal's new streaming service, Peacock's, reboot. Linda Blair took to Twitter to answer the flood of questions from fans.
"To all my fans asking about my involvement in the new Exorcist reboot, as of now there has not been any discussion about me participating or reprising my role," she tweeted, the text overlaid on a young photo of herself in character as Regan MacNeil. "I wish all those involved the best and I appreciate the loyalty and passion the fans have for The Exorcist and my character."
As if anyone of us needs a primer on the childhood rite of passage, The Exorcist was released in 1973, and the world was never the same. The story follows actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), accompanied by her 12 year-old daughter Regan (Linda Blair), who relocates to Washington D.C. where she is filming a movie. Mother and daughter have a good start, but after a time Regan begins to act strangely. She undergoes various neurological tests but doctors can find nothing to explain her behavior.
As Regan's situation reaches crisis proportions, Chris turns to Father Karras (Jason Miller), a Roman Catholic priest and psychiatrist to see if an exorcism might be the solution to their problem. Karras is incredulous but the church eventually agrees calling in Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), who has previously conducted an exorcism and had come face to face with the devil. Cue the green vomit, cursing, blood and gore. It is horrifying. You remember. You're gonna have nightmares tonight.
Aside from the monumental feat of warping generations of minds and giving all of us the story to tell of when we saw it first (Always too young!) It broke all boundaries in the film industry, as well. The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, becoming the first horror film to ever be Oscar nominated for Best Picture. Burstyn also nabbed an Oscar nomination alongside director William Friedkin, Jason Miller for Best Supporting Actor and Linda Blair for Best Supporting Actress. It won for Best Screenplay and Best Sound. It also proved a critical and commercial success and earned $441 million at the worldwide box office when it debuted.
The reboot sees Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, One Night in Miami), whose character tracks down Chris after his child becomes possessed. Now, don't get me wrong. I will watch through my fingertips, as always, either way. But what kind of treat would it be to see Regan on the scene to give her expert advice? She's got the skills. Hello, Exorcist II: The Heretic? And I read her tweet a few times. "As of now," she says. Fingers 'crossed!' Get it? The first of the films is expected to debut in movie theaters on Oct. 13, 2023.