In his unassailable quest to revitalize every major horror movie icon of the late 20th Century, David Gordon Green, along with Blumhouse and Morgan Creek have made a pact with NBC streamer Peacock to bring back cultural behemoth The Exorcist as a trilogy of sequels to the 1973 original.
The intellectual property was previously exploited in the form of a two-season FOX series, The Exorcist, which connected to the events of the first movie. Prior to that, the films floundered at the box office with a trilogy of successors to the original, including a sequel by Exorcist scribe William Peter Blatty and a scrapped prequel directed by filmmaker Paul Schrader.
Deadline details that the deal is worth in excess of $400 million for a trilogy of Exorcist films, with the first entry directed by Green. Furthermore, this “requel” which serves as a continuity retcon and sequel to the original Exorcist has attracted the participation of original Exorcist star Ellen Burstyn, whom returns as character Chris MacNeil, mother of Pazuzu-possessed child Regan MacNeil. Plot details are scarce but MacNeil returns to mentor Odom Jr.’s character as his own child succumbs to possession.
Per sources, a late 2023 theatrical release is expected, with the remainder of the trilogy potentially premiering exclusively on Peacock. The hefty price tag, pedigree, and creatively-conservative approach to the franchise springs from Universal Studios chairperson, Donna Langley in a bid to compete with the likes of fellow streamers, Amazon, Apple TV, and Netflix.
Choosing to place this franchise in the hands of Green, while bringing together narrative and character threads from the original, is sure to attract viewership to fledging streamer, Peacock. The filmmaker has proven himself as the Ron Howard of rebooted horror, with a penchant for resurrecting beloved, but financially-decrypt horror franchises with sizeable box office returns to match.
As Halloween Kills arrives in fall with a trilogy-capper, Halloween Ends scheduled for next year, and an HBO Hellraiser television series in development, it seems Green hasn’t quite satiated his hellish bloodlust for horror.
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the untitled Exorcist continuation in the article title and text as a “legacyquel”, it has since been corrected to “requel” (retcon sequel).