CinemaCon was possessed by some serious scares with the first footage from David Gordon Green’s upcoming sequel to “The Exorcist.” A first look at the film, which is officially called “The Exorcist: Believer,” is a direct sequel to William Friedkin’s record-making 1973 original, and was revealed during Universal Pictures’ slate presentation during this week’s convention in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, introduced by producer Jason Blum and director David Gordon Green.
The film is the first of three new movies intended for theaters, with “Believer” hitting screens this October 13.
The original based on the book by William Peter Blatty spawned two sequels (“The Heretic” with Linda Blair as Regan, “The Exorcist III” without her) and two prequels (“The Beginning” and “Dominion”). The new film is indie turned studio director David Gordon Green’s latest horror foray after helming the most recent “Halloween” trilogy, which he’s moving on from. This “Exorcist” alters the continuity of the past sequels and is meant to follow Friedkin’s Best Picture nominee.
Leslie Odom Jr. is joined in the cast by Ellen Burstyn, reprising her 1973 role of Chris MacNeil, mother of Regan, a victim of demonic possession. Odom Jr. plays the father of a possessed child who chases down Burstyn’s character for help.
The trailer shows Odom’s own child covered in blood and making a scene walking down the aisle of a church during a communion service screaming “the body and the blood.” We then see Burstyn face to face with the demon and greet it by saying, “We’ve met before.”
Blum said quite simply of the film in his introduction, “It’s awesome,” and he spoke about how he wanted to do with “Exorcist” what was done with “Halloween,” honoring the original while bringing the horror into the modern age.
Also here are Ann Dowd, Raphael Sbarge, Jennifer Nettles, and Okwui Okpokwasili. Green wrote the screenplay with Peter Sattler from a story by Green, actor and “Halloween” scribe Danny McBride, and Scott Teems. Blumhouse Productions and Morgan Creek Entertainment produce the film.
Universal and its streaming service Peacock scooped rights to a new trilogy of “Exorcist” films in 2021 for a cool $400 million. Circa the sale, Friedkin tweeted, “There’s not enough money or motivation in the world to get me to do this.”