Home / Exorcist News / CONFIRMED: The Exorcist TV series being prepared without Blatty or Friedkin

CONFIRMED: The Exorcist TV series being prepared without Blatty or Friedkin

Fans of The Exorcist might be aware of a teleplay adaptation written by author William Peter Blatty he has been boasting about in recent years. Blatty has been very open about his excitement for a mini series of his beloved tale of demonic possession as it would give him the chance to truly port the entire novel to screen (the film, while a classic, culled some arcs for the sake of cinema). He even admitted in 2010 that director of the 1973 film, William Friedkin, had agreed he would direct if it was ever backed by a studio or network.

Today we’ve learned, via an exclusive from Vulture, that a Morgan Creek-backed TV series adaptation of The Exorcist is currently being prepared. Neither Blatty nor Friedkin are involved in any way. When it comes to The Exorcist, studio Morgan Creek hold the production rights (we can thank them for Legion and the prequels Dominion and Exorcist: The Beginning) and they are free to proceed however they wish.

Writer-director Sean Durkin is behind the new TV adaptation, with Executive Producer Roy Lee (The Departed, The Ring) overseeing the project which appears reasonably deep in development–  the Vulture article reveals it is expected to be formally shopped to networks two weeks from now.

The 10-episode series will go beyond the source material and not completely rely on Blatty’s novel nor the 1973 film. “Durkin’s Exorcist” will detail the events leading up to the demonic possession and how the family deals with such an event, before finally having to call on the services of Father Karras to perform an exorcism. There has been no mention of Father Merrin at this point, or any of the other characters for that matter.

Friedkin has already commented on the news via Twitter, simply tweeting:

There is no way I would even watch it.

There is no word from Blatty at the time of publishing this.

Thanks to Justin for the heads-up on this breaking news and for tweeting William Friedkin for his thoughts on the show.

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Have your say: What do you think of this news? Are you excited to watch a TV series based on The Exorcist? Join us in the discussion forum or leave a comment below.

About Jason Stringer

Former Webmaster of captainhowdy.com

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  • Loser

    JUST WRONG, SIMPLE AS!!! ANOTHER CASH IN 🙁

  • Kfhaggerty

    What a bloody mistake!

  • MICHAEL SPRAGGON

    LEAVE PERFECTION ALONE!!

  • I saw this coming many years ago.  And I’m almost blind.  Perhaps it would be interesting to see the entire novel put on film (or videotape), but this would mean at least a mini-series (or, in this case, a 10-part tv series).  But this would not be, as mentioned in the article, the novel, since it would conclude prior to the exorcism (and therefore cannot claim the title of “The Exorcist”) and, given “new” material added, would further deviate from the original source material.  But since Morgan Creek owns the production rights–they insisted on a title change from “Legion” (Blatty’s “Exorcist” sequel) to “Exorcist 3” (forcing Blatty to add an exorcism scene in the movie)–nothing really can be done.  They don’t need Friedkin or Blatty (or either’s approval/blessing) for a tv series or a mini-series and can call it or mislabel it “The Exorcist: The Complete Novel for Television” (as was done for “The Godfather,” which had the cooperation and participation of Puzo and Coppola).

  • another failure in the making. the only good exorcist films were the first and the third.

  • ManInKhakiExorcist

    CRIKEY.

    *500,000 facepalms.*

  • My first inclination is to dismiss this incarnation of the Exorcist altogether given that the property holders, Morgan Creek, have mishandled the series from the beginning and shown little respect for the originators.  However there is a slim chance that it might be done right if the screenwriter and director have a really good creative vision that is supported by Morgan Creek.   In a perfect world HBO would be doing this,  which would probably at least involve Blatty as well as Friedkin, and we could all sleep well at night knowing that it was being done right.

  • “Morgan Creek, have mishandled the series from the beginning…” 

    Nice pun!

  • Here is your comment from me, William Peter Blatty, and it is tat this story if total BS. I alone hold miniseries remake rights to The Exorcist and I’ve not sold or transferred them to anyone unless I’ve suddenly become somnambulistic. MV has non-exclusive television rights, yes, but, again, not to a remake!!

  • “There is no way I would even watch it.”

    Really, Friedkin? Even out of curiosity? It’ll be hard to diss the series if he doesn’t even watch it.

  • JakeKaufman

    I’m guessing none of you have seen “Martha Marcy May Marlene” that Sean Durkin wrote/directed? It’s pretty damn good. I’d say that the remake is in good hands at the moment.

  • Anonymous

    Ah…you’d say that “Martha Marcy May Marlene” was good.  I say it copped out at the end.  Not a resolution in sight.  

  • Gnellas

    I personally think its a good idea.  I just hope its scary.  As far as Friedkin and Blatty are concerned, get over it and give it a chance; Friedkin is probably sore he’s not getting a pay check or something.  As for Blatty, eas up dude, its still your  work; anything that keeps your  one claim to fame alive is good.

  • I see nothing but potential garbage, just like the Psycho remake, just like the Nightmare on Elm St. remake (though I love J.E.H.), just like the When a Stranger Calls remake, just like the coming Evil Dead remake. There are just certain films you DO NOT REMAKE.
    I’m guessing the whole storyline and religious significance will wane, while special effects/CGI will get too much attention. Who’s playing Karras, Jar Jar Binks?

  • In full agreement with Trevor. Part 2 was ridiculous. The prequels weren’t even slightly scary. I could have written a better script.

  • Kelly Ziemer

    Here is the thing, remakes can sometimes be good. Just look at Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The movie bombed at the box office but was a cult classic when Whedon was given full control over the tv show. The thing with that situation though is that though he created the character Buffy he did not have much say in the original movie. My point is that as long as the creator of the story has some say in the remake, it will be good. Just look at the new Evil Dead movie. Though Raimi did not direct the remake he was still a producer for it meaning that he wouldn’t allow this film to be butchered and there has been a lot of positive feedback from the remake. Not sure how I feel though about Blatty and Friedkin not being involved with the mini series for the Exorcist. I think that at least Blatty should have some say in it since you know, he wrote the book on it. But then again in the article they did say that the mini series would go more in depth about the book which that is always a good thing. So maybe it won’t be too bad. I’m never one to knock anything down before at least giving it a chance. No movie has ever terrified me more than the Exorcist and if this new mini series can make me feel again the way I felt when I saw the Exorcist for the first time, then I will be quite impressed. Until then though, we will just have to wait and see.