Universal Pictures grabs 'Exorcist' trilogy by shelling out $400 million
Universal Pictures and Peacock have acquired the rights to the new trilogy of 1973 horror masterpiece, Exorcist. The production giant has paid a stunning amount of $400 million, almost the same as what Netflix paid for Rian Johnson's Knives Out sequels. David Gordon Green, known for his slasher films, will direct the upcoming trilogy. Even the script of the trilogy's first movie is ready.
Variety reports Exorcist is a product of Blumhouse-Morgan Creek Entertainment partnership. Ironically, Blumhouse is known for its low-budget horror hits like Get Out and The Purge. Jason Blum, CEO and founder of Blumhouse says, "I'm grateful to Donna Langley and Jimmy Horowitz for believing in the vision of David's film and having the foresight to be flexible with the distribution."
Instead of being a reboot, the trilogy will be a continuation of the original movie. Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn will reprise her role as Chris MacNeil. Alongside, Leslie Odom Jr. steps his foot in the franchise. His character "tracks down" MacNeil after his child becomes possessed. The David Robinson's Morgan Creek and Blum Production will have Couper Samuelson serving as the executive producer.
The first film in the trilogy is expected to arrive in theaters on October 13, 2023. The other installments have not got any release date, and might land directly on Universal's Peacock. Indiewire confirms Green completing the first script of the movie during the pandemic. The original film that completed 47 years in 2020 was based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel.
"I like all the Exorcist movies," Green said. "And not only do I like them, I think they can all fall into the acceptable mythology for what I'm doing. It's not like I'm saying, 'Pretend that The Exorcist 2 never happened.' That's fine to exist...and I enjoy all of them," he added. Green is also awaiting the release of his two Halloween sequels.