THE EXORCIST BELIEVER 2023: A SPOOKY MOVIE FOR HALLOWEEN
William Peter Blatty‘s The Exorcist is intense, unsettling, and has a divisive nature. These qualities contribute significantly to its compelling position within cinematic history and popular culture.
Adapted from the eponymous novel, the 1973 movie has consistently stirred controversy while also receiving critical acclaim, amassing a devoted fan base over the years. Fast-forward nearly five decades since the original film shocked audiences with its horrifying plot, disturbing visuals, and groundbreaking performances.
David Gordon Green, known for directing the most recent trio of Halloween films, is now returning to the world of pulp fiction horror with The Exorcist: Believer!
When Will Come Out?
The first installment of The Exorcist: Believer will hit theaters on October 6, 2023. Initially, its release was for October 13, 2023, but they moved the date up by a week to avoid competing with the highly anticipated concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.
In the same month, there will also be other notable horror releases, including the Stephen King prequel Pet Sematary: Bloodlines on Paramount+ the same week and the long-awaited film adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s (produced by Universal and Blumhouse) arriving three weeks after The Exorcist: Believer.
On which streaming platform will The Exorcist: Believer be accessible?
The Exorcist: Believer will initially have an exclusive theatrical release. However, once its time in theaters is over, it will be exclusively available for streaming on Universal’s platform, Peacock.
The second and third films will follow a similar pattern, debuting in theaters before eventually becoming available on Peacock.
Reportedly, Donna Langley of Universal played a key role in forging a partnership between NBCUniversal and Peacock, making an ambitious bid for the Exorcist trilogy.
According to The New York Times, this mega-deal amounted to over $400 million. However, given the confidence in the dedicated fanbase and moviegoers, along with the expected resurgence of movie theaters in 2023, those involved with the project are optimistic about the franchise’s future.
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The Exorcist: Believer Trailer
The initial trailer for The Exorcist: Believer debuted on July 25, 2023. Before this, it had been exclusively screened in movie theaters before select showings of Oppenheimer.
The trailer has a duration slightly exceeding three minutes and offers a glimpse of numerous frightening moments, as well as the much-anticipated return of Ellen Burstyn in her iconic portrayal of Chris MacNeil.
On September 5, 2023, a second trailer for The Exorcist: Believer was unveiled. In this trailer, Chris MacNeil is depicted in a confrontation with one of the possessed girls.
Which actors appear in The Exorcist: Believer?
The cast of The Exorcist: Believer includes Ellen Burstyn, an Academy Award-winning actress who reprised her role as Chris MacNeil, a renowned Hollywood star and the mother of the possessed Regan MacNeil. In the original film, Burstyn’s character was a celebrated actress who had recently separated from her actor husband and was residing with her daughter on a film set near Georgetown. Burstyn earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the original movie.
Leslie Odom Jr., an Academy Award nominee best known for his role in “Hamilton”, also stars in the film as Victor Fielding, the father of a possessed child who seeks assistance from Chris MacNeil. Jennifer Nettles recognized for her part in “The Righteous Gemstones” and as one-half of the country music duo Sugarland, portrays the mother of another possessed child who collaborates with Odom Jr.’s character. Norbert Leo Butz, known for his role in “Fosse/Verdon”, takes on the role of Nettles’ character’s husband.
Lidya Jewett, known for her role in “Good Girls”, and newcomer Olivia Marcum are set to portray Angela and Katherine, two young girls who become possessed by a demonic entity.
Emmy Award winner Ann Dowd recognized for her performance in “Hereditary”, will make a return to the horror genre with her role in the movie. Raphael Sbarge, known for his role in “Once Upon a Time”, and Okwui Okpokwasili, recognized for her appearance in “Madeline’s Madeline”, have also been included in the cast, with their specific roles yet to be revealed.
The inclusion of the characters Father Merrin and Father Karras in the storyline remains uncertain, with the likelihood that the priests will not be included as the original actors have since passed away.
There have been rumors circulating about Linda Blair potentially reprising her role as Regan MacNeil in the film. Blair received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the original film. However, director David Gordon Green has refrained from confirming whether Regan will make an appearance in the movie.
Who is involved in the production of The Exorcist: Believer?
David Gordon Green is set to direct The Exorcist: Believer. He initially began his career directing independent dramas like “George Washington”, “All the Real Girls”, “Snow Angels”, and the thriller “Undertow.” Green gained significant recognition when he directed the popular stoner comedy “Pineapple Express”, featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Additionally, he helmed studio comedies like “Your Highness”, starring Franco, Danny McBride, and Natalie Portman, and “The Sitter”, with Jonah Hill and Sam Rockwell.
Green then returned to independent cinema with films like “Prince Avalanche”, featuring Paul Rudd, and “Joe”, starring Nicolas Cage. He further diversified his portfolio by directing the drama “Manglehorn”, led by Al Pacino, the political drama “Our Brand is Crisis”, starring Sandra Bullock, and the Jake Gyllenhaal film “Stronger”, based on the life of Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Green later shifted genres once more, directing the Halloween sequel trilogy for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse, which included “Halloween”, “Halloween Kills”, and “Halloween Ends.” He has also made contributions to television, directing episodes for series such as “Eastbound & Down”, “The Righteous Gemstones”, “Vice Principals”, “Mythic Quest”, “The Sex Lives of College Girls”, “Dickinson”, “Red Oaks”, and “There’s Johnny”.
The trilogy will be produced by Jason Blum from Blumhouse, along with James Robinson and David Robinson from Morgan Creek, the company that possesses the Exorcist franchise rights. Danny McBride and Couper Samuelson from Blumhouse have also taken on executive producer roles in collaboration with David Gordon Green. The project under their supervision is overseen by Ryan Turek. We will have to wait until April 2025, to watch The Exorcist: Deceiver.
Scott Teems, known for his involvement in writing or co-writing screenplays for horror movies like “Halloween Kills”, “Firestarter”, and the upcoming “Insidious: The Red Door”, worked on developing the film’s story alongside McBride and Green.
Alongside Green, Peter Sattler, who previously collaborated with Green on an unreleased adaptation of the horror graphic novel “Freaks of the Heartland”, will also contribute as a co-writer.