In some wild news that we weren’t expecting, Halloween director David Gordon Green is following up his successful relaunch of one iconic horror franchise with another. Continuing his partnership with Blumhouse, Green is set to helm a new trilogy of The Exorcist movies. Much like his approach to the Michael Myers saga, these Exorcist films will be legacy sequels to the 1973 original.
As revealed by The New York Times, Ellen Burstyn will be reprising her role from William Friedkin’s film. Burystyn portrayed Chris Macneil, the mother to Regan (Linda Blair), who becomes possessed by the spirit of demon Pazuzu. The only other cast member confirmed to be joining Burstyn at this time is Leslie Odom. Jr (Hamilton). Odom is playing the father of a possessed child who reaches out to Macneil, one of the few people with first-hand experience, to help.
Green is set to write and direct, while Blumhouse’s Jason Blum will produce alongside David Robinson of Morgan Creek, who own the rights to the franchise. Universal and Peacock acquired the trilogy in a humungous deal that’s said to be worth more than $400 million. The opening chapter is expected to hit theaters in late 2023, which will be a year after Green’s Halloween Ends – the finale of his Halloween trilogy – debuts. The second and third Exorcists may then drop on Peacock, as per the terms of the deal.
The NY Times reports that the news will be officially announced sometime this week. The reason for the hefty price tag is apparently because of how competitive the streaming market has become, which suggests other studios were interested before Universal was able to close the deal.
The Exorcist franchise currently comprises 1977’s The Exorcist II: The Heretic, 1990’s The Exorcist III and two separate cuts of the prequel – 2004’s Exorcist: The Beginning and 2005’s Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist. None of the sequels have come close to the original, though, but maybe Green is the guy to fix that.