Legendary Exorcist actress Ellen Burstyn is set to reprise her role from the franchise in Peacock's new $400 million trilogy, which will star Hamilton actor Leslie Odom Jr. Entertainment Weekly reports that the first film in the series will be a direct sequel to the original 1973 film, in which Burstyn played Chris MacNeil, the mother of a demonically possessed child, Regan, portrayed by Linda Blair. Odom will be the lead in the new film, and it will be directed by David Gordon Green.
The story for the new Exorcist movie was developed by Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green. The script is being written by Green, as well, with Peter Sattler. The film, which is the first in a planned series, is part of a new partnership between Universal, Peacock, Blumhouse, and Morgan Creek. It is on track to be released in theaters on Oct. 13, 2023. There is currently no word on if Peacock's involvement means it will debut on the streaming service at the same time or at a later date.
Universal & Peacock's new 'Exorcist' trilogy info ✞
• Paid $400M+ for rights
• Starring Leslie Odom Jr. & OG ‘Exorcist’ star Ellen Burstyn
• 1st film hits theaters Oct. 13, 2023
• Part 2 & 3 could debut exclusively on PeacockJuly 26, 2021
Most recently, Green has become known for co-writing and directing the new Halloween trilogy, which follows up after that franchise's first film as well. It ignores every sequel and reboot film that came afterward and picks up the story 40 years after Michael Myers first stalked the sleepy, fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. The concept, it seems, is to do the same with The Exorcist, setting aside the continuity laid out in its sequels and the critically acclaimed, albeit short-lived, Fox series based on the movie.
Blumhouse boss, Jason Blum, previously spoke to Den of Geek about the plans for the new Exorcist film, and shared that he thinks audiences will be excited when they see what Green is doing. "I think it's going to pleasantly surprise all the skeptics out there," Blum said. "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."
"I love to do [these] kinds of movies because people are very emotional about it," Blum went on to say of the iconic franchise revivals. "I think it's a high bar and it's a challenge to do the movie. Remember, most of the audience coming to this — 95 percent of the audience who will, if we do our job right, come to see this movie — will not have seen the first Exorcist or even heard of it."