When you think of the 1973 Warner Bros. film The Exorcist, do you immediately think of Linda Blair’s Regan MacNeil spinning her head, spider walking down the stairs, swearing like an absolute sewer mouth, and throwing absolute disregard to any number of crucifix safety warnings? Ok well, you better clear some room in your brain for some new Exorcist memories that don’t have anything to do with all that, because as of right now, Linda Blair is not involved with Universal’s recently announced $400 million (yes that number is correct) Exorcist trilogy project. But her on-screen mama Ellen Burstyn is. So, good news for both terrifying demon fans and casual cardigan enthusiasts.
Variety reports that Universal paid $400 million for the rights to The Exorcist franchise. It’s a deal that will reportedly see several Exorcist films streamed on Peacock (which is owned by NBCUniversal). David Gordon Green will be directing the upcoming Exorcist franchise for Universal. He’s currently in charge of the decent-looking Halloween trilogy/remake/whatever you want to call it, and when he’s done with that, it sounds like he’s moving on from Michael Myers to Pazuzu. The first Exorcist film under Universal’s $400 million deal is scheduled to be released in theaters on October 13, 2023. Subsequent films will follow, of course, but it’s not known what that timeline will be. Although they’ll likely all make it to Peacock. The new Exorcist films will also be produced by Blumhouse.
88-year-old Ellen Burstyn, who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in 1974 for her role in The Exorcist, will be returning as actress Chris MacNeil. Obviously Exorcist fans got really excited to see this trilogy project announced, but some of their excitement might have thrown itself down a flight of cobblestone stairs after Linda Blair tweeted the following:
— Linda Blair (@RealLindaBlair) July 26, 2021
According to Universal’s announcement, this trilogy will be a direct sequel to the original film. So I guess we’re pretending Exorcist II: The Heretic doesn’t exist now? Er…probably a good idea. Joining Ellen Burstyn will be Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr., who Variety says shows up at Chris MacNeil’s door after his child becomes possessed. Honestly, best of luck to the screenwriters on this thing. Because I can already see a huge loophole. If I was 88 and someone showed up asking me for exorcism help, I’m going to very kindly remind them that I’m too old for that shit, I’ve entered by “Napping to House Hunters reruns” years, and that my only advice is that no matter how much money a production crew offers, don’t hire that Ken doll-looking medium who claims to communicate with spirits because his credentials are dubious at best.
Pic: Warner Bros.