Ellen Burstyn to reprise famed ‘Exorcist’ role in new film trilogy

The demons are coming back out to play.

Universal Studios is set to drop $400 million for the rights of the famed horror franchise “The Exorcist” to produce a new trilogy.

The original 1973 film’s star, Ellen Burstyn, will reprise her Oscar-nominated role of Chris MacNeil in the new movie. “Hamilton” and “Murder on the Orient Express” star Leslie Odom Jr., 39, will join Burstyn, 88, as a father tracking her down when his daughter becomes possessed.

The first film of the rebooted trilogy is planned for an October 2023 release and the following films will go straight to Universal’s streaming service, Peacock.

“Halloween” director David Gordon Green is at the helm of the revived supernatural, cross-wielding priest film series.

The first film featured Burstyn as the mother of the possessed Regan MacNeil, played by then-14-year-old Linda Blair, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of the bewitched teen. The Post has reached out to Blair, 62, for comment.

Ellen Burstyn studies a Ouji board during a scene from the famed 1973 horror film.
Ellen Burstyn studies a Ouji board during a scene from the famed 1973 horror film.

According to Universal, the new franchise is described as a “continuation,” and not a remake. Burstyn did not participate in the previous and very widely panned “Exorcist” sequels. Those subsequent films included the 1977’s “Exorcist II: The Heretic,” “The Exorcist III” (1990), “Exorcist: The Beginning” (2004) and “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” (2005).

“The Exorcist” has grossed more than $441 million and is the highest-grossing horror film since its premiere. The film was also nominated for 10 Academy Awards back in 1974 and eventually won the golden statuettes for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound.


New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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