Reboot of 'The Exorcist' aiming for a 2021 release

·2-min read
A silhouette of a man stands in front of a house at night in a still from the film,' The Exorcist', directed by William Friedkin, 1973. (Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy of Getty Images)
The Exorcist (Credit: Warner Bros./Courtesy of Getty Images)

Following news that one of the most beloved film comedies is set to be remade comes word that one of Hollywood's most iconic horror movies is also set for reboot.

Buried in a report on Deadline is mention that filmmaker Morgan Creek Entertainment is plotting to reboot The Exorcist.

Per the industry bible: “Current Morgan Creek projects include Stay Tuned at AMC, with a planned theatrical reboot of The Exorcist in the works for 2021.”

Read more: Planes, Trains and Automobiles heading for a remake

It's worth noting that film blog Slashfilm later also uncovered this rather contrary tweet.

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But it's also worth noting that the wording used is 'reboot' rather than remake, which could change the potential for the project drastically.

Following director William Friedkin's pivotal first movie in 1973, The Exorcist later became a full-fledged franchise by today's standards.

Left to right: Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, Max von Sydow as Father Merrin, and Jason Miller (1939 - 2001) as Father Karras in 'The Exorcist', directed by William Friedkin, 1973. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, Max von Sydow as Father Merrin, and Jason Miller as Father Karras in The Exorcist (Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Exorcist II: The Heretic followed in 1977, with The Exorcist III in 1990, and then in 2004 came prequel movie Exorcist: The Beginning.

Renny Harlin’s The Beginning was assembled from Paul Schrader’s already-shot Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist after execs feared it would flop before it was even released. Schrader eventually finished his version of the film and it was released in 2005, earning slightly better reviews than Harlin’s take.

As per Morgan Creek's historic tweet from 2015, it could be more likely that it is rebooting the franchise as a whole, rather than remaking the original.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, who also penned the screenplay, the movie followed the demonic possession of 12-year-old Regan MacNeil, and the attempts by her mother, played by Ellen Burstyn, to have the spirit exorcised.

American actress Linda Blair on the set of The Exorcist, based on the novel by William Peter Blatty and directed by William Friedkin. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Linda Blair on the set of The Exorcist (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

It made a staggering $441 million from its $12 million budget – somewhere in the region of $2.5 billion today (£1.8 billion) accounting for inflation.

Faintings, vomittings, public outcry and calls for it to be banned all helped bolster its financial success, yet it was still nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars despite the controversy.

It won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing, two of the 10 nominations by the Academy, and is widely regarded as one of the best horror movies of all time.

The sequels, however, all flopped – even the second movie which starred Richard Burton only made $30 million, a fraction of the original.

The final movie, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, made just $251,000.

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