Last year it was announced that William Friedkin’s seminal 1973 horror film “The Exorcist” would receive a ten-hour miniseries treatment at the hands of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” director Sean Durkin that would function as part remake/part prequel. Now, it seems that the show’s producers, Morgan Creek Entertainment and Roy Lee (executive producer behind remakes of “The Ring” and “The Grudge”) have decided to go in a different direction.
Deadline is reporting that Durkin’s take on the material, which would have indeed taken its cues from Friedkin’s forty-year old adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s best selling novel, is no more. Durkin will no longer have anything to do with the small screen venture and Morgan Creek has instead brought in the writer of the planned reboot of “Fantastic Four,” Jeremy Slater.
No doubt emboldened by the success of NBC’s “Hannibal” series, the “Exorcist” will no longer confine itself to the miniseries format, instead the project is being shopped to the networks as a “drama series” and will go back to the original source material — Blatty’s book — instead of the famous film adaptation.
Popular on IndieWire
We’re not really sure how an open-ended take on the “Exorcism” would work or whether Slater’s new take still contains prequel elements but one thing’s for sure, the show will likely break Friedkin’s cardinal rule for exorcism films, that exorcisms be used very sparingly. As the director put it, “There were three cases that the Catholic church acknowledged in the 20th century in America. In other places in the world there are guys, not necessarily priests, ordained by the Catholic Church who are doing three or four exorcisms before breakfast, but exorcism is a very, very rare procedure and not easily sanctioned by the Catholic Church. That’s one thing of the things we try to point out in the film, that it was not commonplace and that demonic possession still, to a lot of people, seems like religious bunk.” What do you folks think? Is it possible to have more than one exorcism on the show and still make each one feel rare, special and most important of all, terrifying?