The Exorcist is getting a new trilogy of sequels with at least one star from the original movie on board to return. On Monday, it was announced that Universal and Peacock are teaming up with Blumhouse and Morgan Creek to revive The Exorcist with David Gordon Green (Halloween 2018) directing. Oscar nominee Leslie Odom Jr. is also set to star with Ellen Burstyn returning to reprise her Oscar-nominated role from the original movie.
This new deal to bring back The Exorcist is a result of the continued success between Universal and Blumhouse with previous collaborations. Per the press release, Halloween alone resulted in "more than $250 million in box office worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise. It also set a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman (Jamie Lee Curtis)." They've similarly found great success in movies like Get Out, Split, and The Invisible Man.
David Gordon Green previously helmed 2018's Halloween for Universal and Blumhouse along with this fall's sequel Halloween Kills and the upcoming third installment of the new trilogy, Halloween Ends. His Halloween Kills co-writers Scott Teems and Danny McBride will be fleshing out the story of the new Exorcist trilogy with Peter Sattler (Broken Diamonds) co-writing the script with Green.
Jason Blum will produce on behalf of Blumhouse. David Robinson and James Robinson will produce for Morgan Creek. David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Couper Samuelson will executive produce. Ryan Turek is overseeing the project for Blumhouse.
"There's no better time to be joining forces with the team at Peacock, reuniting with the great team at Universal and finally getting to work with my friends at Blumhouse, than on this classic franchise, '' said David Robinson, Morgan Creek President, in a statement. "David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Scott Teems and Peter Sattler have put together a compelling continuation of this iconic tale and I can't wait to bring this to fans around the world."
"Blumhouse has always experienced incredible partnership from the team at Universal, and I'm grateful to Donna Langley and Jimmy Horowitz for believing in the vision of David's film and having the foresight to be flexible with distribution, so the team feels top notch support through the lifeline of the film. They're committed to theatrical exhibition and will also serve streaming viewers well by bringing an exciting franchise like the Exorcist to Peacock too. I'm grateful to be working with David Robinson and the great team at Morgan Creek on this iconic franchise," Jason Blum, CEO and Founder of Blumhouse, added.
This new trilogy also marks the first time Ellen Burstyn will play the role of Chris MacNeil in the original movie. Her critically acclaimed performance put her up for the Best Supporting Actress honor at the Academy Awards. Two sequels were made in subsequent years, but neither of them featured Burstyn back in the role. It's not yet clear if Linda Blair will also appear as Regan MacNeil or if any other original stars from the previous movies will return.
The original 1973 film, The Exorcist has grossed over $441 million to date, making it the highest domestic grossing horror film for a 44-year-long run. The picture was also nominated for 10 Academy-Awards, including one for Ellen Burstyn, who was nominated for Best Actress. The film also nabbed the honor of being the first horror film ever nominated for Best Picture.
The Exorcist trilogy will premiere its first installment in theaters on October 13, 2023.