David Gordon Green teases original Exorcist star Linda Blair’s involvement in new movie

Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973)
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Exorcist: Believer director David Gordon Green has revealed Linda Blair's involvement in the upcoming new movie.

"She came to set because she was an advisor on the movie," Green tells Total Film magazine in the new issue out on September 14, which features Wonka on the cover. "I was really lucky to have her read the script, but she was not interested in a significant role and stepping back into that."

Blair was just 14 years old when she starred as Regan MacNeil in William Friedkin's 1973, beating out 600 other young actresses. The role earned her both a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. However, it wasn't without its challenges: Blair injured her lower back due to the bed-shaking stunt, and was hounded by the media for participating in what was considered an extremely controversial film at the time.

"We brought her in as an advisor because we’re dealing with young people, and we want to take them to dangerous places safely," Green continued.

Despite Blair deciding not to reprise her role, a photo of Regan is still briefly shown in the first Believer trailer to let the audience know that we're dealing with the same demon from 50 years ago – Pazuzu. When both Victor's (Leslie Odom Jr.) daughter and her best friend become possessed, he decides to enlist the help of the only other parent he knows who has experienced demonic possession – Chris MacNeill, played by none other than Ellen Burstyn. The thought of Burstyn and Blair on the same set for the first time in 50 years makes us a little teary-eyed.

The Exorcist: Believer hits theaters on October 6, moving up one week from its original release date of October 13. A sequel, The Exorcist: Deceiver, is set to hit theaters on April 18, 2025. For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2023 and beyond, or, skip right to the good stuff with our list of movie release dates.

The above is just a snippet of our interview in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which features Wonka on the cover. The magazine hits shelves this Thursday, September 14, and features new insight into everything from The Exorcist: Believer to Killers of the Flower Moon, as well as plenty of reviews for all of the latest releases.

Wonka covers of Total Film

(Image credit: Total Film)

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Editor-at-Large, Total Film

Jamie Graham is the Editor-at-Large of Total Film magazine. You'll likely find them around these parts reviewing the biggest films on the planet and speaking to some of the biggest stars in the business – that's just what Jamie does. Jamie has also written for outlets like SFX and the Sunday Times Culture, and appeared on podcasts exploring the wondrous worlds of occult and horror. 

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