Warner Bros. and Morgan Creek Studios today confirmed the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist will be remade for today’s audience. In an exclusive deal, Morgan Creek will produce and Warner Bros. will distribute internationally.

We’ve feared it for along time and discussed it extensively– now, our fears/dreams have come true: Morgan Creek is remaking The Exorcist and have full support of Warner Bros. who will co-distribute domestically and be the sole distributor internationally. Morgan Creek only have 4 years left on The Exorcist license, which is most likely the reason behind the project being green-lit. The deal was signed in January.

Based on the success of recent possession films having good box office turnarounds, including Paranormal Activity (which was inspired by The Exorcist), The Last Exorcism and The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Creek approached Warner Bros. with intentions to remake the “original” possession film. Impressive Blu-ray sales of The Exorcist last Halloween have also fuelled the decision.

No cast or director have been announced. James G. Robinson of Morgan Creek is producing. Original author and screenwriter William Peter Blatty is in no way attached.

The remake is expected to hit screens in time for Halloween 2013, going into production early next year.

In the statement, released to industry trades and online, Robinson adds:

There’s no doubting The Exorcist franchise is a lucrative one, and it’s a license we want to maximize while we still can. It’s clear fans have not been impressed with recent efforts in Exorcist sequels/prequels, so we made the executive decision in January to recreate the glory of the original film.

Appreciators of the original film and possession movies in general are interested in seeing what could be done with a remake, set in modern times.

We’ll be working from Blatty’s original book, but it will be an entirely new screenplay. We start writing in May.

I guess this means mobile telephones and state-of-the-art medical procedures, among other things?

Robinson added:

CaptainHowdy.com is run by a pretty cool guy, and he’s sorry if anyone took this too seriously. It is, of course, one of those silly practical jokes that are celebrated on April first.

Exorcist fans everyone, I love you!

Captain Howdy

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