There was a time when Brooke Shields’ only connection to The Exorcist was back in 1972, when director William Friedkin passed on the young actress to play Regan McNeil because she was “too young”. Now, almost 40 years later, the name Brooke Shields will forever be etched into the history of The Exorcist.
It was with this announcement during the week that the media really started to buzz about the upcoming stage production of The Exorcist. And why not? Famous actors Brooke Shields and Richard Chamberlain have joined the play’s cast which premieres July 3 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Brooke Shields will play the role of Chris McNeil while Richard Chamberlain will play Father Merrin. Adult actress Emily Yetter has been cast in the role of Regan McNeil.
Rounding out the cast are David Wilson Barnes as Father Damien Karras and Harry Groener playing Burke Dennings.
I think it makes for a very interesting casting choice and one that should nurture the play’s publicity (as already evidenced). The casting of Richard Chamberlain as Father Merrin is impresses me the most. Chamberlain has the demeanour and composure to deliver the subtleness needed in Merrin’s role and I believe he’ll deliver a memorable performance each night, setting a tone and standard for the rest of the cast to follow. I am excited by his casting and only wish I could have the chance to see it!
The play itself, written by John Pielmeier, has already done a great job of setting itself apart from the film by affirming there will not be an abundance of visual effects on stage. Instead the focus will be on the conflict of faith found within the characters– something that I have always enjoyed about The Exorcist.
The Exorcist stage play is being directed by Tony winner John Doyle.
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