Exorcist reboot director David Gordon Green says the movie will be a sequel to the original

Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist
(Image credit: IMDb)

Director David Gordon Green has given an update on his new Exorcist movie that's in the works. In the latest issue of Total Film, the director reveals that the script for his reboot of the 1973 movie is finished – and it looks like it's a sequel than a complete retcon.

"The Exorcist has been written. That was one of my pandemic projects. It’s not inaccurate [that it will be a sequel to the original film]. I like all the Exorcist movies," Green says. "And not only do I like them, I think they can all fall into the acceptable mythology for what I’m doing. It’s not like I’m saying, 'Pretend that The Exorcist 2 never happened.' That’s fine to exist. They’re all fine to exist, and I enjoy all of them."

Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel of the same name, the original movie was directed by William Friedkin and starred big names like Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, and Linda Blair. It follows a 12-year-old girl who’s possessed by a mysterious entity and the lengths her mother and two Catholic priests go to in an attempt to save her.

Green adds: "It’s another fun legacy to be a part of, and hopefully we’ll get that going in the near future. That one is a lot of research, rather than just impulsive screenwriting. That’s one that you talk to a lot of people. You read a lot of books, and do a shit-load of interviews. There was such a dramatic authenticity to what that original film is. It’s a lot more than I anticipated getting into it. And I guess I was naive to think that. But it was very exhilarating to be involved in a lot of those conversations that you find yourself in."

The movie was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and it won the gong for Best Adapted Screenplay. It earned $193 million globally, making it the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie of all time until 2017's It. No pressure, then. Green is no stranger to horror, or rebooting iconic franchises, though – he helmed 2018's Halloween and the upcoming Halloween Kills. 

While we wait for The Exorcist sequel-slash-reboot to hit the big screen, check out our list of the other upcoming horror movies to get excited about in 2021 and beyond. 

For the rest of our interview with Green, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits newsstands in stores and on digital retailers from Friday, July 23. And if you're still thinking about the original movie check out 7 questions I STILL have after watching The Exorcist.

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(Image credit: Total Film)
Jordan Farley

I'm the News Editor at Total Film magazine, running the opening pages of every issue where you can read exclusive interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the Community Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and interviews covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge. Outside of my day job, I'm a FromSoft fanatic (proudest achievement: beating Malenia solo) and a TV connoisseur (translation: I'll watch anything).