Here we go again, fans. While we’re busy celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Exorcist and the upcoming Blu-ray release, Hollywood studio Morgan Creek have been once again shopping around the idea of a TV series remake/spinoff to broadcast and cable networks. According to Deadline, there’s considerable interest.
As recently as last year author William Peter Blatty dismissed talks that a TV series was already greenlit, publicly stating that such a remake would not have his blessing (and therefore, could not be made). At the same time, renowned Exorcist historian, author and journalist Mark Kermode squashed the series live on his BBC radio show and director William Friedkin stated via Twitter, “There is no way I would even watch it.” It seemed the idea of a possessed Regan gracing our TV screens had been exorcised from the minds of Producers. Until now.
The same producer, Roy Lee, is still behind the project which has a new writer attached; young Jeremy Slater is penning the new Fantastic Four blockbuster feature film and he’s the talk of Hollywood right now. It’s Slater’s attachment to the project which apparently has some networks taking notice.
Ironically, the idea of an Exorcist remake on TV is scary. Handled right, it could be a good thing (for instance, Blatty has had a mini series penned for some time, but without backing); but the odds of a TV show finding that chemistry that made Blatty’s novel and the feature film so iconic are extremely short, if not impossible.
It will be interesting to see how this unravels. Casting would be extremely difficult, as would the approach Slater takes with story and plot (it cannot be a complete remake, as I understand it. The series can feature the characters from Blatty’s work but cannot be a complete adaptation). Time will tell.
**NOTE: Coincidentally, I’ve been drafting a post discussing this very topic, inspired by a recent forum discussion. There are many things to consider, some which are cringe-worthy, like cheap scares and poor acting, and others which could give a project like this great potential to be a runaway succeeds (see: The Walking Dead and Hannibal, both of which didn’t seem too convincing on paper but gained critical praise and great audiences). I’ll get these thoughts posted in the near future.