Before signing on to direct The Exorcist: Believer, David Gordon Green gained recognition for bringing the Halloween franchise back with Blumhouse’s blockbuster trilogy reboot featuring Jamie Lee Curtis‘ return as Laurie Strode. Speaking with Empire, Green explained the difference of his upcoming Exorcist movies from the Halloween reboot in terms of how he approach the story.
“The Halloween movies are in the slasher genre,” Green said. “They’re a place to play, and maybe have some campy fun. But this one was more researched and a bit academic. The narrative we were sculpting, and the relationships, were more dramatic. It’s a very different approach.”
The filmmaker also addressed the challenge of creating something new for the franchise while retaining what the audience loved about the original. “We’re talking about the horror genre, but my main ambition was to preserve the dramatic integrity, and not lean into what’s evolved within the genre as a result of the original film,” Green explained. “But that’s impossible: you have to acknowledge that there have been so many movies that are derivative copycats of The Exorcist. It has evolved as a concept, so making a slow-burn, dramatic, provocative, horrific film is different with today’s audience than it was 50 years ago.”
What is The Exorcist: Believer about?
The Exorcist: Believer serves as a direct sequel to the original horror feature, which was adapted from William Peter Blatty’s novel. Green is directing from a screenplay he is co-writing with Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Peter Sattler. Joining Burstyn are Leslie Odom Jr, Ann Dowd, Raphael Sbarge, and Jennifer Nettles with newcomers Lidya Jewett and Olivia Marcum.
“Since the death of his pregnant wife in a Haitian earthquake 12 years ago, Victor Fielding has raised their daughter, Angela on his own,” reads the synopsis. “But when Angela and her friend Katherine, disappear in the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened to them, it unleashes a chain of events that will force Victor to confront the nadir of evil and, in his terror and desperation, seek out the only person alive who has witnessed anything like it before: Chris MacNeil.”
The sequel is produced by Jason Blum, David Robinson, and James Robinson, with Green, McBride, Couper Samuelson, and Stephanie Allain executive producing. It is a co-production between Blumhouse and Morgan Creek Production, with Ryan Turek overseeing the project on behalf of Blumhouse.