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Ellen Burstyn to reprise role in new 'Exorcist' trilogy


In the era of reboots and sequels, nothing is sacred, with William Friedkin’s The Exorcist the next in line for modernisation. Though, the latest film, headed up by Halloween director David Gordon Green, is instead described as “a compelling continuation” of the 1973 original that won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Set to pay $400million for the rights to a new trilogy continuing the story of The Exorcist, Universal has bagged the iconic property, even managing to convince Ellen Burstyn to reprise her Oscar-nominated role of Chris MacNeil. Set for release in October 2023, the franchise is in the capable hands of David Gordon Green, a director known for having reborn the Halloween series with a similar playful, sinister tone to John Carpenter’s original. 

MacNeil will appear alongside newcomer Leslie Odom Jr., an actor with previous credits in Hamilton and Knives Out 2 who will play the father of a possessed child in desperate need of help from Ellen Burstyn.

Recently confirming the news after years of speculation regarding a potential sequel, producer Jason Blum revealed that the forthcoming release will connect closely with the original film. Speaking in a recent interview, Blum stated: “[It’s] going to be like David’s Halloween sequel…I think it’s going to pleasantly surprise all the sceptics out there. We had a lot of sceptics about Halloween and David turned them around, and I think he’s going to turn it around with The Exorcist”.

Remaking, or even adding further narrative detail to William Friedkin’s original 1973 film is seen as a highly contentious act for anyone in the passionate Exorcist fanbase, so Jason Blum and David Gordon Green will have to tread carefully to handle audience expectations. Though it sounds as if Blum is up to the challenge, noting: “I love to do [these] kinds of movies because people are very emotional about it. I think it’s a high bar and it’s a challenge to do the movie”.

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