Some things are holy. If a person were to ask me "What film properties are
off limits for remakes?" sitting at the very tip top of that list would be The Exorcist . William Peter Blatty's novel, and subsequent cinematic
adaption by WIlliam Friedkin, about a little girl named Reagen who runs
afoul of a very nasty demon named Pazuzu, single-handedly kicked of the
possession sub-genre in horror films, and sent people running back to the
church for protective spiritual cover.
Now, with the recent success of films like Paranormal Activity and The
Last Exorcism (and even the resounding, and deserving flop of The Devil
WIthin), evil spectral entities and the Big Horned Guy are viable business
again. That means it was only a matter of time before little Reagan was
back peeing on carpets and spewing profanities at priests.
Yup. The Exorcist is being remade.
Morgan Creek, the company behind The Departed and The Exorcist III, is on
board to produce a whopping ten-part re-envisioning of The Exorcist for
television, and it's going to be helmed by Martha Marcy May Marlene
director Sean Durkin.
I quite liked Durkin's film about a young woman trying to pull her life
and head back together after being involved with a cult, but I don't know
quite how I feel about a novice director being handed the greatest horror
property in the world, and it being stretched to ten episodes. Apparently
we will get a detailed portrayal of the events leading up to the exorcism
(my personal favorite section of the Friedkin film actually) and then the
aftermath of the tragic event, on the McNeil family.
Will the uber-classic Dick Smith make-up design be adhered to? will we get a glimpse of the absentee father? Will we get to see more
about the corridors of power in the Vatican, and how the taboo practice
of exorcism is handled? Will we see more of Father Karras' struggle
with faith? Will we get to hang out with Father Merrin in Iraq more? Will
this be updated to take place in modern times? Will we get the boundary
pushing as far as profanity and finding shall we say "creative uses" for a
crucifix? Is director Sean Durkin the right man for the job? is there a
perfect new "Reagan" running around out there? (I can just see stage
mothers scurrying to buy up all the child-sized nightgowns in Tinseltown
today, in preparation for those big casting calls).
Yes, these questions beg answers.
Before any real speculation can be done though, a network needs to be
announced. Where is Sean Durkin'sThe Exorcist going to land? Personally I
can't see it working anywhere else but on cable television, and given the
audiences numbers and budgets of show's like Game Of Thrones, I'd say it's
a good bet this project could indeed end up at HBO or Showtime, or hell (no
pun!) maybe even an entity like Netflix will step up and give Pazuzu a
You know, dear ScreenAnarchy readers, this is not the first time The Exorcist has
almost come to the home screen. I clearly remember years back, Dakota Fanning, fresh off her star making turn in Man On Fire, was rumored to
play young Reagan in a proposed two-parter for Fox TV. Anybody else recall
that? To add, The Exorcist is currently seeing another re-envisoning, as a
stage play, starring Brooke Shields and Richard Chamberlain as Chris
Mcneil and Father Merrin. Newcomer Emily Yetter will play young Reagan
(though Emily is a bit older than the character) in the live adaption
which begins it's preview run July 3 in the Gil Gates Theater of the
Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
So I ask you...is remaking The Exorcist as a mini-series going to bring
about the 2012 apocalypse? Or, will it herald a new era of horror that
will save the planet and create a geek utopia?
Have Your Say!