Exorcist Miniseries In The Works Without Blatty
I was a 9-year-old at a slumber party the first time I saw the 1973 film based on William Peter Blatty's novel, The Exorcist. The six little girls gathered on the couch that night were way too young to be watching Regan vomit pea soup and stab herself in the vagina with a cross. But we did. I slept on the couch near my parents' room for over a week, but wouldn't tell them why. Shortly after that, I began sneaking peeks at my mom's Stephen King books. It's safe to say that The Exorcist changed my life and turned me into the fanatical horror connoisseur I am today. So I'm protective of it. A lot of people are.
That's why I flinched the first time I heard Blatty's classic was being turned into a television miniseries. Then I relaxed a bit because, back then in 2009, the rumor was that original director William Friedkin was on board and that Blatty himself was writing the adaptation, which would "faithfully include all elements of the novel" plus subplots that had to be cut for space in the original film.
Somewhere between 2009 and now, something went awry though, because the miniseries is still happening—it will be shopped around to networks in about two weeks—but now Friedkin and Blatty are notably absent. The television remake of the first horror movie to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar is now in the hands of Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin, The Ring producer Roy Lee, and Morgan Creek, the company behind The Exorcist III and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. Blatty hasn't publicly commented on it, but Friedkin tweeted, "There is no way I would even watch it."
Part of me says the original is a sacred cow and that making another version is sacrilege. But another part of me says this 10-episode series isn't a remake, as much as a new interpretation, and no matter what happens, a miniseries will take away from the Blatty/Friedkin version about as much as the sequels and prequel did (or about as much as the miniseries version of The Shining harmed the Kubrick version, which is to say not at all). But in the end, all parts of me say that I'll watch it. Will you?
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