Home Movies

Original director of ‘The Exorcist’ shunned from reboot in a stunning act of sacrilege

The reboot nobody asked for is not off to a great start.

'The Exorcist' shuns original director for reboot
Image via Warner Bros.

The Exorcist reboot isn’t off to a crash-hot start, as its director David Gordon Green has confirmed the original director William Friedkin will have no role in his reimagining.

Following the financial success of Green’s Halloween trilogy, he’s set to helm another reboot trilogy with The Exorcist in his sights – one of the greatest horror films ever made, its original made history by being the first horror movie to get nominated for an Academy Award. Something which likely won’t happen with this reboot, especially as Green dismisses the importance of Friedkin.

In conversation with moviemaker.com, Green was queried on if Friedkin would enjoy a role in the reboot similar to John Carpenter did on the recent Halloween trilogy. His answer was incredibly dismissive, saying he won’t be involved unless he becomes a great musician. Ouch.

“He won’t. On this journey, we picked Ellen Burstyn to be our spiritual guru. Our Exorcist is linked narratively by its characters, but it isn’t in terms of stylistic parallels. I’m not leaning into what Friedkin did, but it is going deep into who Chris MacNeil is and what she brought to the table. Without giving away too much, the tools and insights that she’s utilized over fifty years find a new application. Ellen’s the one we’ve brought on board, and we filmed eight days with her a year ago to do some technical and creative explorations, and next week we get back in the ring. So to answer your question, Friedkin’s not involved in this. If he’s as good as John Carpenter at making music we’ll get him to do a song in the movie. He can do a trombone version of ‘Tubular Bells.'”

While it may come across as jestful, it’s an incredibly ballsy move to outright reject someone of Friedkin’s talents and stature. It’s akin to remaking E.T. and not having Spielberg onboard, even in more of a ceremonial role. Friedkin, aged 87, is still in the industry and is currently working on adaptation of two-act play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial as of Aug. 2022.

Green’s comments also come off incredibly brash, especially following Halloween Ends struggling to gain traction with critics. Financially though, Ends is having an excellent time at the box office with an opening gross of $58 million, and expected to continue earning as its titular holiday nears.

Jamie Dunkin
About the author

Jamie Dunkin

Writer for We Got This Covered, and other sites in the GAMURS Group. Football fan, LEGO enthusiast, and beer enjoyer. @jamie_dunkin on Twitter