HAVE YOUR SAY: It Finally Happened...THE EXORCIST Is Being Remade.

Sean Smithson, Contributor

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's The 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 home.

You know, dear Twitch 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!
Around the Internet:
  • Mary

    I'm a big fan, its my favorite movie but I wish they would leave it alone.

  • ChevalierAguila

    There's an exorcism movie every year or so, they come and go and nothing memorable comes out ever.

  • kidplus

    I'm not offended. We knew it was coming eventually. The hiring of Durkin and decision to make a mini-series instills some confidence. However, if they decide to ape the imagery or tone of the film then it's a remake, mini-series or not. I hope that's not the case because I don't need a 10 part version of a movie I've already enjoyed over the years. If they're going to do it, do something different. All to often a remake of a movie (I'm looking at you Let Me In) is sold as a "new adaptation" of the original source but that winds up being bull. I hope that's not the case.



  • Sean "The Butcher" Smithson

    I agree actually, in that the mini-series format will yield new and hopefully interesting results. I am worried that that same format will turn it into a soap.

    I am super duper curious to know how they will handle the Iraqi dig sequences and all the Middle East stuff if they up-date the story to modern times, which seems almost impossible NOT to do. You can't "exorcise" the Middle East stuff from the plot, nor can you ignore the facts of what is going on today in the news.

    The iconic Dick Smith make-up too man. HOW do you get past that now?

    I'll say this on the record too, thank fricking "God" it isn't some horror director or genre specialist being brought in. The hiring of a director like Sean Durkin gives me minimal hope. Either way I am interested and will be watching and hoping for a good piece of work.

  • I'm with Ard. I don't see how a ten episode series can be at all a remake of a two hour movie. This is going to be something new that's going to have to succeed or fail on its own merits.

  • mightyjoeyoung

    Never liked The Exorcist (1973)....I think Friedkin done better films then that.

    But this remake hysteria is boring...been going on for too long....but you ask valid question:"Where is Sean Durkin's The Exorcist going to land?"

    Yeah...where indeed?

    And can he really brings something new to this story?

  • Ard Vijn

    I do not consider the film to be a remake of the book. Nor would I consider a comic-book to be a remake of the film. And I do not consider a ten-part version of the story especially made for television to be a remake of the film either.

    And because I do not see this series as a remake I do not see this as sacrilegious at all.



    Television is not the same as cinema. As a 10-episode series the story will have to be split in parts which each will have to be interesting (well, up to a point at least) and consist of a beginning-middle-end. It will be its own thing and not detract from the excellent original film.

    Unlike the cgi-enhanced version from a few years back, I should add...

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