400 million dollars. That’s how much it cost Universal Pictures and it’s cousin network Peacock to secure the rights for an Exorcist trilogy of films.
Holy hell that’s a head spinner.
Along with a partnership with Blumhouse and Morgan Creek in a release agreement, Ellen Burstyn returns in her role as Chris McNeil- the mother of possessed Regan and David Gordon Green (Halloween 2018) is slated to direct. According to Deadline, Hamilton‘s Leslie Odom Jr. will star as the father of a possessed child who seeks out the aid of Chris MacNeil.
What fans should be most excited about, is that this series of films serves as a continuation to the classic horror series- not a remake or reimagining. Worth noting that Universal has said the previous entries (Exorcist II and III) will NOT be disregarded into further the storyline. Unlike with Director Green’s Halloween trilogy with Halloween Kills coming this October that only acknowledges the first film in the franchise; which is fairly nice to hear from this fan’s POV.
Produced by Jason Blum, and executive produced by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Couper Samuelson, the first of The Exorcist trilogy of films is set to hit theaters on October 13th, 2023.
As of right now, Linda Blair does NOT seem to be involved. But hey, things can change at the drop of a hat folks.
In the meantime, pick up this great Exorcist Anthology series from the Amazon Beast for a great deal and to celebrate this news!
Let me start off by stating that I’m fairly certain, I could be the world’s biggest whore for horror film documentaries. To dive into the behind-the -scene encounters involving those who made some of our most cherished genre pictures, is close to Godliness. Also, it totally helps at those Horror Movie Trivia nights. So when I caught wind that Shudder was releasing an documentary exclusively with William Friedkin on The Exorcist, I damn near had a happy anxiety attack as TRUE docs on the film are scarce with the exception of a few under-the-radar specials on networks such as REELZ and A&E.
To put it it mildly, I was pretty excited to see the mastermind Friedkin going pedal to the medal with his infamous visionary experience of Blatty’s novel. And to my delightful surprise, the documentary was A LOT more than a “making of” type deal. So much more…
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist run time sits in at about 105 minutes of an in-depth exploration of Friedkin’s inspirations that led to his directing-style approach for his notable films; including of course The Exorcist. If one ever wanted to sit and pick the brain of the 85-year-old director, this documentary gives you close to everything you would want to know and more. One would even go so far as saying that if you’re an aspiring film-student, than this is basically some free and sound advice from one of the best- so if you’re in that group, might want to put this in your watch queue.
When touching on The Exorcist, this doc will absolutely give even the BIGGEST Exorcist fan a few new nuggets of knowledge one may have not known about the film unless you just so happen to be in Friedkin’s inner-circle. From where exactly the idea of that infamous, iconic image of Merrin on the street cam from, the casting of the actors, (one of which might just blow your mind) and the journey into finding the perfect instrumentals for the picture, this will give everyone a new appreciation for all the painstaking blood, sweat, and literal tears that went into making the horror masterpiece.
Obviously I want to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but one thing I will say that won’t take away any “eureka moments” is the recurring theme throughout the doc that Friedkin is heavily influenced by the arts of the Renaissance Period which truly gives this doc some really beautiful cinematography and visuals that one usually doesn’t see in well, a horror film documentary. This chronicle of The Exorcist is visually speaking, the prettiest looking-thing I’ve ever seen in this type of arena and I have to really give a shout-out for making this aesthetically appeasing to the eyes as well as keeping me intrigued throughout the duration of the program.
With all that being said, LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST premieres on Shudder November 19th, 2020 in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
I think it goes without saying that streaming service for horror fans SHUDDER, is the premiere virtual hot spot for not just October viewing, but year-round long as hey- this is a lifestyle for us am I right?! Beyond national treasures as The Last Drive-In, In Search of Darkness, Scare Me, and the all-new Sam Trick R Treat Holiday Ghoul Log, Shudder extends its exclusive content arm towards an intriguing new documentary involving the movie dubbed, of course, the scariest film of all time- THE EXORCIST premiering next month on the horror streaming service!
Actual footage of me trying to get to the TV before the children. Usually works.
From award-winning documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe, (HITCHCOCK’S SHOWER SCENE (2017), MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN (2019), and DOC OF THE DEAD (2014) LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST sets out to explore the uncharted depths of William Friedkin’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that have shaped his life and filmography.
Before its premiere to the general public on Shudder, The film, which had its world premiere at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival and was an official selection of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, will also stream this weekend as part of the Nightstream Film Festival.
Per the Press Release:
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the exceptional team at Shudder to bring LEAP OF FAITH to an audience of such savvy, passionate fans of genre cinema. Without a doubt — this is a perfect home and partnership for our film,” said Alexandre O. Philippe.
“LEAP OF FAITH continues our commitment to bringing the best programming about horror, thriller and the supernatural to our members,” said Craig Engler, Shudder General Manager. “Alexander has created an unparalleled look at one of the greatest horror films of all time, giving viewers direct access to William Friedkin in this can’t-miss documentary,”
LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST hits the streaming platform on November 19th, 2020 in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.