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The Exorcist: Does The World Need Another Legacy Sequel

The team that brought us the new Halloween trilogy, lead by director David Gordon Green, aims to give that same treatment to The Exorcist. Again the writing will be handled by Green himself, along with, Jeff Fradley, and Danny McBride of South Bound and Down fame. When The Exorcist was released in December of 1973, based on the book by William Peter Blatty (who also wrote the screenplay) and directed by William Friedkin, it only opened in 24 theaters across the US and Canada yet somehow still managed to become the highest grossing horror movie of all time (not to mention scare the absolute hell out of me and everyone else) a record that wouldn’t be broken until 2017 when IT was released.

Filled out with an amazing cast that included Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller, and Linda Blair, the original film really struck a nerve with viewers who, through word of mouth, made it highly successful. David and his team are hoping to capture that lightning once again with yet another legacy sequel, this time focusing on Ellen Burstyn’s character from the original. In a recent interview Green said:

“On this journey, we picked Ellen Burstyn to be our spiritual guru. Our Exorcist is linked narratively by its characters, but it isn’t in terms of stylistic parallels. I’m not leaning into what Friedkin did, but it is going deep into who Chris MacNeil is and what she brought to the table. Without giving away too much, the tools and insights that she’s utilized over fifty years find a new application. Ellen’s the one we’ve brought on board, and we filmed eight days with her a year ago to do some technical and creative explorations, and next week we get back in the ring.”

All of this is fine but I have a question, is Hollywood over doing it with legacy sequels? The first of Green’s Halloween films was very well received by the fans of the original, hell even I liked it quite a bit but the two that followed, Halloween Kills and ending in this years appropriately titled Halloween Ends were, simply put, awful money grabs. Weak plot, drawn out, and forgettable .One person who is not looking forward to the film and is making it clear that he is NOT involved is the original film’s director, William Friedkin who recently tweeted:

“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.”

Legacy sequel fatigue is real and I for one don’t know if I cant trust another property I love and grew up with in their hands. Like I said, the first Halloween from this team was pretty good, a worthy sequel and a fun story but then… then they forgot what they were doing and decided to wrap up the trilogy by any means necessary. It was almost laughable how bad they were, and how badly they were received. The Exorcist changed the game when it came out, as did the original Halloween, I guess one way to have a successful film is to ride those coattails. With a release date for the David Gordon Green sequel already set for October 13th, 2023, the Universal, Blumhouse, and Morgan Creek production is set to begin filming literally any day now. I guess we can all hope that they don’t lose the plot.

Crockett Houghton

Crockett Houghton is a horror fan and a freelance writer, he lives in Virginia on top of a mountain away from people (just the way he likes it).

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