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Ellen Burstyn Does A Jamie Lee Curtis And Returns To ‘The Exorcist’ Franchise Decades After Last Appearance

Seemingly a reoccurring trend with horror films lately, not only are getting a requel of sorts in the upcoming as of yet untitled The Exorcist film, Ellen Burstyn, star of the original, has signed on to star, fifty years after the original.

Helmed by the recent Halloween trilogy directed by David Gordon Green, it is following in the same footsteps. Ignoring the multiple sequels since the original, the film will be acting as a direct sequel to its original, and just like Jamie Lee Curtis with the Halloween films, it’s bringing back one of the original’s stars.

The Exorcist

the exorcist
Linda Blair as Regan in The Exorcist (1973).

Released in 1973, The Exorcist terrified its audiences with a mixture of tension, body horror, and that well-parodied vomit scene. Ellen Burstyn stars as the mother of a possessed child, played by Linda Blair, who begins to levitate, speak in tongues, and other such stereotypical possession tropes. The church sends in a priest played by Max von Sydow to help remove the demon possessing the child, but as with any horror movie, things don’t go to plan.

Related: Popular Horror Movie Actors Who Secretly Hate Horror Films

Many sequels followed, all with diminishing returns, and like the Halloween series, it’s been a hot minute since the last one. Seemingly carving a very specific niche for himself, David Gordon Green has taken this as a sign the audience wants another film, and as already mentioned, has taken the choice to continue the story of the original, rather than a reboot or a continuation of the other films.

Ellen Burstyn Returns To The Exorcist Franchise

the exorcist
Ellen Burstyn as Chris Macneil in The Exorcist (1973).

Ellen Burstyn recently had an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where she explained her reasons for returning to the franchise, her opinion of David Gordon Green, and how she’s helping young actors because of it.

“You know, what happened was I’ve turned down many versions of The Exorcist 2. I’ve said no every time. This time they offered me a whole bunch of money and I still said no. And then they surprised me and they came back and said, ‘We doubled the offer.’ I said, ‘OK, let me think about this.’ I thought, ‘That’s a lot of money. Let me think about it.’ The next thought that came to mind was: ‘I feel like the devil is asking my price.’ And the next thought that came to mind was, ‘My price is a scholarship program for talented students at our master’s degree program at Pace University. That’s my price.’ So I then went back and upped their up and ended up getting what I want. And I’ve got a scholarship program for young actors.”

Continuing, the actress divulged more information about the film and its release.

“And I’ve shot most of the picture. The writer-director, David Gordon Green, I like very much. I met with him and we talked about the script and so forth and I promised him four more days if he needed them. And he’s edited the film and he wants the four days, so I’m going back in November to shoot four more days. And it’ll come out in 2023 on the 50th anniversary of The Exorcist, the original.”

Judging by her comments, the film is edited and ready to go, all barring some re-shoots, which isn’t unusual for any major motion picture. With her comments, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly how much she’d be involved, whether it’s a glorified cameo, or something more substantial to the plot. Leslie Odom Jr (Hamilton) stars as the parent with a child possessed this time round, but other than that, there’s not a huge amount of plot details available.

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Ellen Burstyn in 2022.

Related: ‘Movie Business is Ruled By Money’: John Carpenter Hints Displeasure at Studio Milking Halloween Franchise, Says Halloween Ends Won’t Be The End

Whether, like Halloween, this will continue as a trilogy or if this is a one-and-done requel is yet to be seen, but come next year we’ll get to see the next long-dead horror franchise back on our screens. With the aforementioned Halloween, the upcoming Hulu reboot Pinhead, the resurgence of the Scream films, and this, that only leaves Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street, and we’ll be back in the eighties…

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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