A New Trilogy of ‘Exorcist’ Movies Is In the Works
The last time Ellen Burstyn made an Exorcist movie, the year was 1973. Almost 50 years later, Burstyn will reprise her role as Chris MacNeil as part of a just-announced new trilogy of The Exorcist movies that are being produced by Universal and the Peacock streaming service.
The press release confirms the reports from last week that David Gordon Green was getting ready to direct a new Exorcist film, the first since 2005’s Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. Leslie Odom Jr. will star in the first film opposite Burstyn. The first part of the planned trilogy will open in theaters on October 13, 2023.
There’s not many details in the release about how Peacock fits into this equation, but according to a report in The New York Times, “under the terms of the deal [between Universal, Peacock, Morgan Creek, and Blumhouse] the second and third films could debut on Peacock.” They also have a few more details on the plot, saying that in the new Exorcist, Odom “will play the father of a possessed child. Desperate for help, he tracks down Ms. Burstyn’s character. Suffice it to say, Satan is not thrilled to see her again.” In the original Exorcist, Burstyn played the mother to Regan, the little girl whose mysterious affliction turns out to be demonic possession. While Regan (played by Linda Blair) returned in the infamous Exorcist II: The Heretic, Burstyn’s character never appeared in the franchise again.
The Times also says that Universal and Peacock paid “$400-million plus” for this new Exorcist trilogy, an enormous amount of money that rivals the reported $465 million that Netflix recently paid for the rights to two Knives Out sequels starring Daniel Craig and directed by Rian Johnson. Thus far, Peacock has had some solid original series — including Girls5Eva and a relaunch of Saved By the Bell — but they’ve made very few efforts to break into the world of streaming movies. This deal changes that in a big way.