Exorcist star Ellen Burstyn to reprise role in sequel, first film in planned trilogy
Manufacturers of pea soup, rejoice!
Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn will reprise her role from The Exorcist in a sequel to the William Friedkin-directed horror classic, producers announced Monday. In the original 1973 film, Burstyn played Chris MacNeil, the mother of Regan, a demonically possessed child famously portrayed by Linda Blair. The new film will star Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) and be directed by David Gordon Green (2018's Halloween, the upcoming Halloween Kills).
The film is the result of a partnership between Universal, Peacock, Blumhouse, and Morgan Creek. The yet-unnamed sequel is slated to hit theaters Oct. 13, 2023, and the plan is for it to be followed by two more Exorcist films.
Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green worked on the story for the sequel, which is being written by Peter Sattler and Green. Jason Blum will produce on behalf of Blumhouse. David Robinson and James Robinson will produce for Morgan Creek. Green, McBride, and Couper Samuelson will executive-produce, and Ryan Turek is overseeing the project for Blumhouse.
The Exorcist franchise has endured some ups and downs since the release of the first film, which was a box office sensation and earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic was virtually laughed out of theaters, while 1990's The Exorcist III performed modestly at the box office but over time has become regarded as a classic in its own right by horror fans. There were two attempts to make a fourth film in the franchise, one directed by Paul Schrader and the other by Renny Harlin, whose Exorcist: The Beginning was finally released to poor box office returns in 2004. An Exorcist TV show, in which Geena Davis played Regan MacNeil and Sharon Gless portrayed Chris, premiered on Fox in 2016 and lasted two seasons.
The Exorcist (1973 film)