Exorcist Miniseries In The Works Without Blatty

Exorcist Miniseries

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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Kimberly Turner

News by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

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cdregan's picture
cdregan from outside of Philadelphia is reading The Corrections May 25, 2012 - 3:10pm

Pff. Americans don't know how to do Horror movies anymore, but this is a TV miniseries, so I'm sure it will be a fun MST3K-worthy effort. 

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine May 26, 2012 - 9:29am

The Exorcist is one of the best horror films ever made, but I'm okay with this. As long as it's on cable and not network TV. It's got an interesting director attached, plus the promise of events preceding and following the exorcism sounds great. I find this less offensive than Friedkin's director's cut or 'version you've never seen' or whatever it was called that changed stuff around and added shitty CGI, so he should shut the fuck up.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig May 27, 2012 - 9:37pm

Will I watch it? Of course I will. But the absence of both Blatty and Friedkin does trouble me. The book and movie are two of my favorite pieces of horror.

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade May 30, 2012 - 10:06pm

I'm with Friedkin...


Pablo Milanese's picture
Pablo Milanese July 25, 2012 - 8:15am

Looks promising, I´ll probably watch it no matter how much I praise the movie.