It's been announced that classic 1973 horror The Exorcist will be getting a sequel. Halloween director David Gordon Green (soon to bring us Halloween Kills) will be helming the project, confirms Variety, and it will be the filmmaker's latest collaboration with studio Blumhouse.
Director William Friedkin's The Exorcist, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his own novel, is one of the most controversial and famous chillers of all time. The movie crisscrosses theological concerns with shocking body horror as young girl Regan (Linda Blair) finds herself possessed by a demonic entity. A priest (Jason Miller) and veteran exorcist (Max von Sydow) must then intervene to save the girls's soul.
The outrage caused by the movie propelled it towards blockbuster status, and The Exorcist eventually grossed $441 million worldwide. It was also nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, the first horror movie to receive such an accolade. The movie's longstanding cultural impact continues to disturb and enthrall in equal measure, with later films such as The Omen owing themselves to The Exorcist.
Of course, The Exorcist has already inspired several sequels of varying quality. 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic, starring Linda Blair and Richard Burton, was widely panned. 1990's Exorcist III received better notices but was little seen, instead later establishing itself as a cult movie. 2004's Exorcist: The Beginning and 2005's Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist are perhaps best forgotten altogether.
Back in 2018, Halloween director David Gordon Green worked with co-writer Danny McBride to eliminate years of unnecessary sequels and reboots. Instead, they fashioned a direct follow-up to John Carpenter's 1978 slasher movie masterpiece, blending nostalgic nods and contemporary twists to acclaimed effect. It was hailed as the best Halloween movie since the original and grossed $255 million worldwide, making it the most financially successful film in the franchise.
In 2021, Green and McBride resurrect the spectre of serial killer Michael Myers in sequel Halloween Kills. The film will reunite us with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family as they're thrown into another desperate battle for survival against the masked maniac. Series godfather John Carpenter has promised a spectacular escalation in terms of the action and the body count – how many victims will Michael stalk and execute this time? The movie is set to be followed by Halloween Ends.
I know you all have been looking forward to an update on the status of "Halloween Kills". Here it is: pic.twitter.com/EWivyipYgR— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) July 8, 2020
Green clearly has the midas touch, capable of tickling the nostalgia bone while juicing the template with just enough modern-day quirks. This would appear to set him up well for the sequel to The Exorcist – like the original Halloween, this is one of the most revered and studied horror movies of all time, and a half-assed approach simply won't cut it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Friedkin has already distanced himself from any notion of a new Exorcist movie.
There’s a rumor on IMDB that I’m involved with a new version— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) December 17, 2020
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.
Regardless of Friedkin's opinion, what do you make of the news? Does The Exorcist need another sequel? Let us know @Cineworld.