Ann Dowd Joins Leslie Odom Jr. & Ellen Burstyn In ‘The Exorcist’

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Blumhouse, Universal and Peacock’s big continuation of The Exorcist has added Emmy winner Ann Dowd to the cast. She will star opposite already announced Leslie Odom Jr. and Ellen Burstyn who is reprising her role as Chris MacNeil from the original 1973 movie.

It was announced a year ago that Universal and Peacock closed a $400M deal for global rights to the Exorcist franchise. The new film is being directed by David Gordon Green, who is behind Blumhouse/Miramax and Uni’s latest trio of Halloween movies; the first two have grossed over $387M at the worldwide box office, with Halloween Ends set for release October 14.

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Dowd and Gordon Green previously teamed on his 2015 satire Our Brand Is Crisis. Gordon Green also executive produced Dowd’s 2012 breakout film Compliance after spotting the actress in the Off Broadway play Blood From a Stone. He was the one who suggested her for the Compliance role of Sandra, a fast food manager duped into detaining an employee for stealing.

Dowd is known for her portrayal of Aunt Lydia on Hulu and MGM’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which notched her a 2017 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; she was also nominated in 2018 and 2021. Dowd also won a 2018 Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice) award for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and was nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe for Supporting Actress in a Television Series or Made for TV Movie.

Her feature credits include last year’s Mass, about the aftermath of a violent tragedy that affects the lives of two couples in different ways.

Dowd won the National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress award for Compliance. Her other notable credits include the HBO series The Leftovers, Ari Aster’s Hereditary, and Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate and Philadelphia.

The actress is repped by Principal Entertainment and Innovative Artists.

The original 1973 film The Exorcist has grossed over $441 million to date worldwide, making it the highest domestic-grossing horror film ever. The picture was also nominated for 10 Oscars including one for Burstyn as Best Actress. The movie was the first horror film ever nominated for Best Picture.

Scott Teems (Halloween Kills, The Quarry), Danny McBride (Halloween Kills, Halloween) and Gordon Green teamed up for the new story being penned by Peter Sattler (Camp X-Ray) and Gordon Green. Jason Blum will produce on behalf of Blumhouse. David Robinson and James Robinson will produce for Morgan Creek. Gordon Green, McBride and Couper Samuelson will executive produce. Ryan Turek is overseeing the project for Blumhouse.

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