The Exorcist: Believer director David Gordon Green & producer Jason Blum discuss exploring the ramifications of the original movie with Ellen Burstyn.
- The Exorcist: Believer is a new movie that fits into the existing narrative of The Exorcist, but takes place 50 years later.
- The film introduces a whole new cast of characters and brings a fresh and unique story to the franchise.
- Director David Gordon Green was inspired to explore the ramifications of Reagan’s exorcism in the original film and worked closely with Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair to develop meaningful and relatable storytelling.
The Exorcist: Believer follows Victor Fielding, a single father raising his daughter Angela. She and her friend, Katherine, disappear in the woods for three days with no memory of what happened; their parents are at a loss. Things get even worse as the girls begin acting out in strange and terrifying ways, and while Victor is hesitant to believe it, he begins to suspect that the girls may have brought something dark back with them. In an act of desperation, he goes to the only person who has experience with this, Chris MacNeil.
The Exorcist: Believer is directed by David Gordon Green, who also co-wrote the script with Peter Sattler based on a story by Green, Scott Teems, and Danny McBride. The Exorcist: Believer stars Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, Jennifer Nettles, Norbert Leo Butz, Lidya Jewett, and Olivia O’Neill. Ellen Burstyn reprises her role as Chris MacNeil from the original Exorcist movie.
Related: How Scary Is The Original Exorcist Movie Today?
Screen Rant spoke with David Gordon Green and Jason Blum about their new movie, The Exorcist: Believer. Blum explained where this fits into the ongoing story of the Exorcist and the importance of original projects. Green revealed what inspired him to touch on the ramifications of the original Exorcist movie and praises both O’Neill and Jewett.
David Gordon Green & Jason Blum Talk The Exorcist: Believer
Screen Rant: 50 years of The Exorcist, and this movie is perfect. It’s on par with the first one. Jason, how does Exorcist: Believer fit into the existing narrative while bringing something fresh and unique?
Jason Blum: It fits into the existing narrative in that it’s the same story, but 50 years later. So that’s how it connects to the original movie, but it also is a whole new… Leslie Odom Jr. and Alan Burstyn and Ann Dowd. It’s a whole new set of faces and the great young performance we have in the movie. So it’s a whole brand new story, and I think, a very effective tale.
David, can you talk to me about your inspiration to explore Reagan’s exorcism and the ramifications she has with her mother in this film? Because it’s a perfect carryover for 50 years later.
David Gordon Green: Yeah, well, it was conversation that I had with both Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair, just asking them questions of where their characters would have gone. I began this journey creatively, not having any idea if either of those amazingly talented actresses would have any involvement in what we’re doing.
I reached to them as friendship and kind of creative inspiration for where I might go with what happened in Georgetown, and then the evolution 50 years later. And so as their trust of me and our creative team started to fall into place, then we just started to explore what felt meaningful, not gimmicky, and not just genre tropes, but felt like this is a personal exploration that they as human beings on this earth could relate to.
Lidya Jewett and Olivia O’Neill are phenomenal in this movie. Absolutely incredible performances. They really hook you all the way through. Can you talk about working with them and collaborating with them to get such an amazing performance?
David Gordon Green: Yeah, well, thanks to the amazing casting directors of Blumhouse, Terry and Sarah, they found Lydia and Olivia and they just brought light and life. It was like performance art in a way. Where you could go to very dark places, but there was always a playful underbelly to the intensity that they were inhabiting, if that makes sense.
They connected immediately socially as friends and then would bring ideas to the table. And so it always was some degree of you break out into song one day, you’d break it at a dance the next day, some days, they’d be strapped to a chair and just take all those demons and bring them to life in a way that we never imagined. And then with when you add the makeup and effects that Christopher Nelson and his team put on their face. A whole other vibe when they walk on set you just get chills.
Jason, Blumhouse is the master of horror right now. You do original works, adaptations like Five Nights and classics like Exorcist and Halloween. What goes into choosing the right project for Blumhouse?
Jason Blum: I like to have a balance on our slate of movies. So I like to [have] about half of our movies to be original and half of our movies to be on existing IP, whether it’s a video game or a prior movie. So that that’s kind of how I look at it or I would put sequels in that category too. I think it’s important to keep making originals in Hollywood we talk about the power of IP, but there is no IP without a first story. So I think it’s important to focus on both.
About The Exorcist: Believer
The parents of demonically possessed girls, desperate for help, search for the only person alive who has had similar experiences: Chris MacNeil.
Source: Screen Rant Plus
Key Release Date
- The Exorcist: Believer Release Date: 2023-10-06