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William Peter Blatty

“It does not have my blessing”; Blatty speaks out against The Exorcist TV series

The drama surrounding the recently-announced ten-episode TV series of The Exorcist threatens to be more dramatic than the show itself.

Fans on the internet were quick to voice a mix of disgust and intrigue following the stunning announcement made by production studio Morgan Creek that they are planning to bring the epic tale of demonic possession to television. William Friedkin, director of the original 1973 classic, tweeted within a matter of hours: “There is no way I would even watch it.”

Acclaimed journalist and guru of all-things The Exorcist, Doctor Mark Kermode, yesterday spoke live on his BBC radio show and read an email from The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty.

From the horse’s mouth:

As for The Exorcist TV series, in as much as I have no idea what the script looks like,  it certainly does not have my blessing. I was never consulted or even told about it by Morgan Creek.

As it cannot be a TV remake of my novel– to which they have no right whatever– I can only construe that, week after week, there will be an episode in which a Catholic exorcist pursues a one-armed demon.

Listen to that segment of the radio programme by clicking the player directly below. Kermode passionately discusses the topic.


So it seems Blatty holds the rights to The Exorcist story in his novel (and subsequent film) and it simply cannot (legally) be remade.

With a remake is out of the question, Kermode speculated Morgan Creek may have character rights to proceed with a series surrounding the story of The Exorcist, similar to Morgan Creek-produced prequels Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion which feature the character of Father Merrin.

Father Karras (originally played by the late Jason Miller) is the only original character that has been named for the TV series so far.

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Have your say: Blatty and Friedkin have spoken out against The Exorcist TV series, but what do YOU think? Are you even slight interested to see how it would turn out? Comment below or join us in the Exorcist Discussion Forum where the topic is heating up!

About Jason Stringer

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