William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic “The Exorcist” is the gift that keeps on giving, with a total of five films spawning out of William Peter Blatty’s source novel, and even a canceled Fox TV series from 2017. Reports emerged back in August that a reboot of the possession tale that started ’em all was in the works from Morgan Creek Entertainment, planned for theaters in 2021.
But director Friedkin is here to tell you that whatever “Exorcist” reboot or remake is in the cards, he has nothing to do with it. “There’s a rumor on IMDb that I’m involved with a new version of ‘The Exorcist,'” he tweeted this week. “This isn’t a rumor, it’s a flat-out lie. There’s not enough money or motivation in the world to get me to do this.”
Indeed, Friedkin hasn’t been involved with any of the “Exorcist” spinoff films, which most recently included “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist,” directed by Paul Schrader and released in 2005. Friedkin’s last feature film, however, was 2017’s “The Devil and Father Amorth,” a documentary about a priest, Father Gabriele Amorth, as he performs his ninth exorcism on an Italian woman. Clearly the material still fascinates him. Earlier this year, Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentary “Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist” released, taking a deep dive into the making of the 1973 that reportedly sent audiences reeling down the aisles.
“Exorcist” follow-up films have seen middling success. John Boorman’s 1977 film “Exorcist II: The Heretic” is widely considered one of the worst films ever made, even with star Richard Burton and original “Exorcist” actor Linda Blair at the center. William Peter Blatty’s own “The Exorcist III” received a slightly better reaction, but nowhere near the original film’s achievements, which included 10 Academy Award nominations and two wins. 2004’s “Exorcist: The Beginning” was also a critical and commercial failure.
Friedkin’s representatives did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment.
There’s a rumor on IMDB that I’m involved with a new version
Of The Exorcist. This isn’t a rumor, it’s a flat-out lie.
There’s not enough money or motivation in the world
To get me to do this.
— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) December 17, 2020