Even as I type I can hear the howls of indignation from many corners of the internet as horror fans howl at the decision to re-adapt The Exorcist, and for good reason. Released in 1973, The Exorcist was very highly regarded in critical circles and by audiences. Despite the disturbing nature of the film it was a huge box office success and became that rarest of things, a horror film that was Oscar nominated for Best Picture.
William Friedkin‘s film is not only the seminal horror film of the 20th century but one of the greatest films ever made, so the choice to remake it is a baffling and disheartening one, mainly because it begs the question: Does Hollywood have no original ideas anymore? That being said, there is no need to be wholly distressed by this.
The re-adaptation of William Peter Blatty‘s novel will be going to TV, with Sean Durkin in the driving seat. This is reassuring for numerous reasons. Durkin’s previous work Martha Marcy May Marlene was an absolutely terrific, criminally under seen gem from last year which dealt with the traumatic experiences of a young female protagonist in an understated and profoundly creepy way.
For an Exorcist remake he’s exactly in the right ball park with that kind of subject matter and Durkin is reliable pair of hands, Martha Marcy May Marlene proved the writer-director was an intelligent, talented guy.
According to Vulture, Durkin’s adaptation will deal with both the lead up to the exorcism, the exorcism itself and then the after effects of what that event did to the family, which sounds like a logical progression for a long form adaptation. The project is being produced by the guys who brought us the Martin Scorsese remake of Infernal Affairs, The Departed, so we can expect some level of quality control on the business end of things.
The series won’t be pitched to networks for another couple of weeks but apparently studios and executives are already after meetings with the director. This is definitely a hot property and we’ll keep you updated on any further developments.