The Exorcist: Believer:A couple of concerned parents are desperately seeking assistance and guidance as they find themselves facing a truly unsettling and inexplicable situation. Each parent is confronted with the alarming signs and symptoms of what appears to be demonic possession in their respective daughters.
Release date: October 13, 2023 (USA)
Director: David Gordon Green
Film series: The Exorcist
Story by: Scott Teems; Danny McBride; David Gordon Green
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Based on: Characters; by William Peter Blatty
The Exorcist: Believer Trailer
The Exorcist: Believer Trailer
The Exorcist: Believer will be Available to Stream
“The Exorcist: Believer,” the first film in the Exorcist trilogy, is set to have an exclusive theatrical release before becoming available for streaming on Universal’s platform, Peacock, once its theatrical window closes.
Donna Langley, an influential figure at Universal, played a key role in forging a partnership between NBCUniversal and Peacock. Langley’s efforts included a bold bid for the Exorcist trilogy, with the mega-deal reportedly amounting to over $400 million, as reported by The New York Times.
In summary, “The Exorcist: Believer” will first have an exclusive theatrical run, followed by its availability for streaming on Peacock. The release strategy for the subsequent films in the trilogy is yet to be determined but may align with a straight-to-streaming approach on Peacock. The partnership between NBCUniversal and Peacock, spearheaded by Donna Langley, demonstrates a belief in the franchise’s potential and the enduring appeal of the Exorcist series.
Cast in The Exorcist: Believer
Ellen Burstyn, an Academy Award-winning actress, is set to reprise her iconic role as Chris MacNeil in the Exorcist trilogy. Burstyn portrayed the character in the original film, where Chris MacNeil, a renowned Hollywood celebrity and mother of the possessed Regan MacNeil, navigated the horrifying ordeal of her daughter’s demonic possession. Burstyn’s exceptional performance in the original film earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Joining the cast is Leslie Odom Jr., an Academy Award nominee known for his role in the hit musical Hamilton. Odom Jr. will portray the father of a possessed child who seeks the assistance of Chris MacNeil in combating the supernatural forces. Additionally, Jennifer Nettles, recognized as one-half of the popular country music duo Sugarland and acclaimed for her role in The Righteous Gemstones, will take on the role of the mother of another possessed child, joining forces with Odom Jr.’s character.
Playing the two young girls who fall victim to the demonic entity are Lidya Jewett, known for her work in Good Girls, and Olivia Marcum, a promising newcomer to the screen. Their performances are expected to bring a chilling intensity to the possessed characters they portray.
Emmy Award winner Ann Dowd, recognized for her role in the horror film Hereditary, will make a return to the genre with a role in the Exorcist trilogy. Joining her are Raphael Sbarge from Once Upon a Time and Okwui Okpokwasili from Madeline’s Madeline, both cast in undisclosed roles that will add further depth and intrigue to the narrative.
The involvement of the characters Father Merrin and Father Karras from the original film remains uncertain, as the original actors who portrayed them have sadly passed away. It is unlikely that these priests will be included in the storyline. However, rumors have circulated that Linda Blair, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Regan MacNeil in the original film, may make an appearance in the trilogy.
As for the infamous scene involving pea soup as demon vomit, it remains to be seen whether this iconic element will be incorporated into the new film. Fans eagerly await the unveiling of the trilogy’s visual and narrative choices to discover if this memorable detail will make a reappearance.
The Original Exorcist Story
The narrative revolves around a young girl named Regan, portrayed by Linda Blair, whose behavior takes a horrifying and unsettling turn. She exhibits alarming actions such as publicly urinating and using profane language that shocks even the most hardened individuals. Despite numerous medical examinations, including a notorious arteriogram scene that caused physical discomfort among viewers, Regan’s mother, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), realizes that there is something far more sinister at play. Chris suspects that her daughter may have been involved in the death of a close family friend.
Seeking help for her daughter’s increasingly disturbing condition, Chris turns to Jesuit priests from Georgetown University. Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), a knowledgeable and experienced clergyman, and Father Karras (Jason Miller), a tormented soul, respond to the desperate call for spiritual intervention. The priests embark on an exorcism of Regan, an act referred to by Father Merrin as a “dirty little secret the Catholic Church has kept hidden in the closet over the years.” The events that unfold during the exorcism are some of the most distressing and gut-wrenching moments in cinematic history, featuring Regan’s head-spinning, demonic utterances, and projectile vomiting. The intensity of these scenes left audiences deeply disturbed, with some seeking solace from hospitals or religious support groups. Consequently, The Exorcist faced opposition from communities that resisted its screening in local theaters.
Criticism from within the industry also emerged regarding the film’s rating. Many insiders argued that the movie should have received an X-rating, which would have better reflected its explicit content. However, the decision to assign an R-rating, rather than an X-rating, was influenced by the desire to maximize financial returns on the significant investment made during the protracted production process.