The Exorcist sequel teased late last year is officially a go at Blumhouse Productions. Jason Blum, whose studio continues to crank out top-notch horror movies, confirmed the news in a recent interview where he discusses the film's parallels to the recent Halloween sequel.
How so? Well, both franchise reboots share a studio, director David Gordon Green, and it sounds like similar approaches to their respective franchises.
Without stating it outright, Blum suggests this newest Exorcist movie won't take into account the slew of sequels and prequels the 1973 original left in its wake. Nor will it likely incorporate continuity from the TV show. He alludes to Green's 2018 Halloween which follows the events of the 1978 Halloween, ignoring years of sequels, so, it makes sense this upcoming Exorcist will follow the same logic.
“[It’s] going to be like David’s Halloween sequel,” Blum tells Den of Geek. “I think it’s going to pleasantly surprise all the skeptics out there. We had a lot of skeptics about Halloween and David turned them around, and I think he’s going to turn it around with The Exorcist.”
The recent Halloween sequel proved a hit in every sense. Critics raved about it, fans dug its return to the core franchise lore, and it made stacks of cash. Interestingly enough, Blum's belief on why rebooted franchises are successful, and why his studio believes the Exorcist sequel to be a smash, is the audience demographic, a mix of old fans and new. "95 percent of the audience… will not have seen the first Exorcist or even heard of it.”
“I want to make a movie that works for both [audiences]," he adds. "I want to make a movie for people that know and love the first Exorcist and are furious that we’re doing this, but somehow drag themselves to the theater. I want them to come out happy. And I want to make a movie that people who’ve never heard of The Exorcist really enjoy. I think David did that with Halloween. I think he’ll do that with The Exorcist also.”
Taking into account Halloween's huge success, launching a new slasher trilogy based in the Michael Myers world, Blumhouse is likely eyeing another recognisable property to continue this trend. Halloween Kills, the middle chapter, hits theaters this year, with the final film Halloween Ends due 2022. It makes sense to begin planting seeds for the next horror revival franchise now. And boy, what a series to tackle.
The original Exorcist movie landed in 1973, one of the first films to elicit hysteria from audiences who famously walked out of its premiere, shocked at the events portrayed on screen. Based on a true story – albeit, very loosely – the movie received critical acclaim for its depiction of a young girl's possession, and subsequent exorcism by two Catholic priests.
It'll be interesting to see where Blumhouse takes this sequel, and whether they're likely to get anyone from the first film involved. Director William Friedkin has repeatedly stated his disinterest in returning, but Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair would make great cameos.
We've some time to go until The Exorcist sequel lands in theaters, but Halloween Kills, which looks bloody and brutal, arrives this October 15.