Home / Exorcist News / The Exorcist Remake: A mini-series written by Blatty, Directed by Friedkin!

The Exorcist Remake: A mini-series written by Blatty, Directed by Friedkin!

Here’s one way to avoid a (potentially) horrible remake of The Exorcist: Have the author of the original novel and screenplay pen a brand new take of his own story as a television miniseries, then have the original director agree to direct.


That’s exactly what Exorcist scribe William Peter Blatty has done, and yes, director William Friedkin has agreed to direct.

So, a complete miniseries script exists AND a director is keen to go– THE ORIGINAL director of one of the greatest horror films of all time. Now all we need is a network and a budget! Anyone care to speculate?

William Peter Blatty revealed the news in a new extensive interview with Brian Freeman as part of Cemetery Dance Magazine’s 62nd issue (out now). Our good friend Ryan (Life Member and Partner of captainhowdy.com and webmaster of theninthconfiguration.com) dropped the news in the discussion forum earlier today, and included this excerpt:

Cemetery Dance Magazine: Looking back, is there anything you would change about the film now if you could?

William Peter Blatty: Yes and no. I would love to have been able to include the subplot involving Karl and his daughter Elvira, which I did in my first draft, but that script ran to 172 pages, much, much too long. But I might have it my way in the near future, inasmuch as I’ve written an Exorcist miniseries script that not only faithfully includes all the main elements of the novel, but also some rather spooky new material and scenes, as well as a totally new (and perhaps much more satisfying) ending. I’ve also updated it. Billy Friedkin has agreed to direct.

I’ve always voiced my concerns about an Exorcist remake (mostly because the majority of remakes we see are absolutely horrendous). Even with some voicing concerns that the film is becoming dated (albeit gracefully) and a remake would ‘freshen’ things, it would be impossible to re-capture the magic of The Exorcist as it existed the first time you saw it. If ever I was to have confidence in a remake, it would be from a scenario like this one– with the original creators creatively behind it. I mean, who better to honour the original film and novel?

Even the most casual Exorcist fan would interested in the idea of a mini-series, I’d think. This would allow time for exploration of the extra plots from the original novel– all of which have their own level of intrigue and creepiness. And what are these extra scares Blatty is talking about?! How much scarier could the story of The Exorcist get?

Another thing to consider is how horror is ‘in’ on television right now. There’s a plethora of horror and supernatural oriented television shows airing at the moment, so it might be an idea to get The Exorcist mini series off the ground before the trend drops.

As far as I’m aware, Morgan Creek Productions still hold all production rights for anything bearing The Exorcist name, and Warner Brothers still own ditribution while also having a consistent television history. Perhaps someone needs to whisper in James G. Robinson’s ear (Chairman and CEO of Morgan Creek) and let him know a mini series of The Exorcist by the original creators is a damn fine idea.

I know I’m all for it.

Cemetery-Dance-62_coverThe Cemetery Dance issue is absolutely chock-full of goodies for Exorcist fans and is definitely worth a read. It also includes a brand new Epilogue for The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and a new Prologue to Exorcist III: Legion, among many other things to do with Blatty himself (including his controversial short story that is seeing print for the first time). I’ll be posting more information from it soon, but in the meantime you can check out The Ninth Configuration for complete scans (thanks again to Ryan!)

About Jason Stringer

Former Webmaster of captainhowdy.com

Check Also

In Memory of Dick Smith

WATCH: How Dick Smith Created Demon Makeup For Linda Blair; Remembered at 2015 Oscars

It was wonderful to see ‘the Godfather of makeup’, Mr. Dick Smith, honored during the …

  • Ryan_S

    I love that shot of Bill with his legs up!

  • Yes it is fantastic to have new shots of Blatty thanks to this new article and your scans. Very impressed.

  • Lord Westenra

    Please, HBO or TNT or something…!

    I'd like to see in the screen one of the creepiest moments (among others) in the novel for me, when Regan sings a psalm with the voice of a chorus boy: “Tantum ergo, sacramentum, veneremur cernui…”

  • Brian

    Horrible idea, regardless of who's writing and directing. Don't forget, the characters we all know and love were brought to life by amazing actors, the caliber of which, Hollywood is sorely lacking these days.

  • Brian

    Horrible idea, regardless of who's writing and directing. Don't forget, the characters we all know and love were brought to life by amazing actors, the caliber of which, Hollywood is sorely lacking these days.

  • I agree I'd rather NEVER see an Exorcist remake, but someone somewhere IS going to remake The Exorcist one day… I'd rather it be Friedkin and Blatty behind it than anyone else.

  • rac1965

    Yes do the miniseries remake!!! This has been my all time favorite movie since I saw it in the theaters in the seventies and I would love to see what can be done with the FX now. I would like to see it kept classy and without any modern hard core music, just classical like the original. Tubular Bells rules!!!

  • mary

    i believe the people who have seen the movies are ready for a mini-series it would be also a favor to me as well because i think the original movies are exceptionally good

  • mary

    i believe the people who have seen the movies are ready for a mini-series it would be also a favor to me as well because i think the original movies are exceptionally good

  • ringomusic

    I think the number one question would be who plays Regan and who plays her mother. I figure the studios would cast an unknown as Regan and an established actress as her mom, but I wonder who? Also would any of the original actors have a cameo in the film?

  • no one there

    For the love of god whatever they do, get german singer Nina Hagen to do the voice of Pazzuzu – please.

  • Carl Daigrepont

    If you think about it, the Iraq prologue was VERY slow-pace and dragged-out.
    The Kinderman investigation drags, too…mainly due to Lee J.Cobb's weary reading of the part.
    The editing could be razor-sharp this time, leaving room for about 5 more minutes of the Karras/Demon discussions, three minutes for the “Karl's daughter”-thing, and finally an exorcisim that lasts 5 minutes longer than 8 minutes.
    Do this and you can release the film Theatrically at about 150 minutes…the remake deserves a theatrical release.

  • Any news on this project?

  • Chris Friend

    Please, please. No Remakes. It’s perfect the first time.

  • Steve Dunlap

    While I signed the petition to NOT do a remake of The Exorcist, I can certainly agree to a television miniseries redux. It would allow for greater detail and storytelling, but, I agree that there are not many actors with the gravitas to pull off the roles so iconically portrayed by the original actors.

    If anyone were to revisit the role of Regan MacNeil, I would have to say let Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit Girl from Kick Ass) take a shot at it. She already can deliver expletives like a sailor, and she has really good acting chops. Of course, in a television miniseries, the expletives would largely be gone, unless it were made for HBO or Showtime….so a lot of the film’s shock/effectiveness would be rendered moot.

    Overall though, the original film is perfect, in terms of technical and artistic means, as well as emotional and psychological impact, I have NOT seen The Exorcist’s equal. It took me 25 years to get used to being able to watch the movie by myself, and I consider myself a pretty brave man. ūüôā

  • Brandy Ivey

    I think a television remake is a horrible idea.¬† Stemming from my opinion of several other made-for-TV miniseries done by Steven King and others in the past, I think the Exorcist story would lose its oomph in a long, drawn-out episodic venture.¬† Since “The Exorcist” is my favorite movie of all time, I certainly have my quams about producing a remake – NOTHING will ever capture the essence of the original – but I suppose it could be interesting if the integrity remains in tact.¬† For instance if Max Von¬†Sydow could make a return as Father Merrin, and Linda Blair possibly play the mother this time around, I believe there could be some merit in doing a remake.¬† Who to play Damian Karras, is the real question.

  • Dockerby

    A mini series of the Exorcist is a terrible idea, the book and movie work on a specific level, that of drawing the reader and viewer into the story more and more, creating the characters, its setting the scene for the main story to be told, however there are sub-stories in the book and film which need total involvement and to treat it like a soap opera would render it powerless. Everyone knows the story, so there is no cliff hanger elements, the Exorcist doesn’t play on that level anyway, it is subtle and in your face in equal measure and the two compliment each other perfectly, more over both work on the cant put it down (book) or turn away (movie) aspect which the reader and audience need to get the maximum impact, I remember reading the book and I really couldn’t put it down, I have seen the movie so many times I have lost count, there are few movies that you can watch time and again and still get the same impact as though watching for the first time, The Exorcist does that, there is something tangible within the film, a very strong religious tone pours from it, you believe the devil is there, in that room, in that house, in the body of Regan. You believe when Merrin arrives outside the house, that the demon has had it. The iconic image, shrouded in fog with the shadowy¬†Merrin¬†standing motionless, knowing he was to face an ancient enemy encapsulates everything about the movie.

    a remake of the movie is a different notion and I’m torn as to whether it would be a good idea or not. If this was to happen, Blatty and Friedkin have to be involved and again unknown actors have to be used, that proved to be one of the strengths of the original, that it didn’t become another McClaine/Brando or whoever else movie, a point Blatty made when preparing the screenplay and auditioning for the roles. I couldn’t envisage anyone else playing Karras other than the late great Jason Miller, here was a man who was a playwright first and foremost who badgered Blatty and Friedkin for the part of the priest who lost his faith. Linda Blair is not a good idea as the mother, as that would draw too much attention to her rather than the movie, Would Max Von Sydow be too old to reprise his role of father Merrin, again, who knows. It is all conjecture at this stage, an idea that has been tossed around and as yet to be confirmed. It is an interesting idea however.

    It could be that the original is such a masterpiece, that to replace it with a remake would be a step too far and could diminish the originals impact.

  • george bandy

    this is an idea for the remake haveing linda blair on board married with a daughter the curse follows her and her daughter gets possesed the same way she did in the original just my opinion with friedkin as director bring one other actor back like ellen burstyn i think that will draw a box office sensation i think elias koteas could play father karras and anthony hopkins could play father merrin this is just my opinion

  • Joseph Shea

    It would be like remaking Gone with the Wind. The original was so good, nothing would hold up. All of the sequels have been a disaster. I hear a new edition of the book is out with new material in it. It might be worth a read.