The Exorcist: Believer director David Gordon Green says he's “curious” what William Friedkin would have thought about the new requel (reboot and sequel). Friedkin, who passed away in August, directed 1973's The Exorcist, considered one of the scariest movies of all time.
A.Frame asked Green if he consulted Friedkin about The Exorcist: Believer. “I would've loved that,” said Green. “I was looking forward to showing him the film, because I never communicated with him. My understanding was that he didn't want involvement in the film production, but he would give us his thoughts after the movie. I was very curious to see what he would think, because I know he has been very critical and was very outspoken, but he was also a brilliant man. He didn't have to love my movie, but I could learn from him, because he made many of my favorite movies.”
David Gordon Green Is “Proud” of The Exorcist: Believer Despite Scary Reviews
The Exorcist: Believer is a direct sequel to Friedkin's landmark 1973 film The Exorcist, ignoring all the other sequels and prequels in the franchise. Believer brings back original The Exorcist star Ellen Burstyn — reprising her role as Chris MacNeil — who is now an author and authority on demonic possession following her experience with her daughter, Regan (Linda Blair). Burstyn tries to help a father whose daughter and friend display obvious signs of possession.
Green successfully rebooted the Halloween franchise, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode for Halloween, Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends. The director plans to do the same thing with The Exorcist, beginning with Believer.
Initial reviews of The Exorcist: Believer are brutal, criticizing the disrespectful treatment of Burstyn's character and unnecessary CGI effects. Gordon, however, seems satisfied with his legacy sequel. “It's a movie I'm really proud of,” said Green to A.Frame shortly after production wrapped. “In some respects, when I watch it, I can't believe I got away with it. I followed my gut, and that's the thing. When you can preserve the integrity of your initial instincts, your voice, and your point of view through the obstacles and challenges every day that face you as a filmmaker, and then the politics and evolution of the post-production process, if you look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say, ‘We f–king did it,' that's pretty cool.”
In a 2018 interview with IndieWire, Friedkin said, “People call [The Exorcist] a horror film. [Author William Peter] Blatty and I never spoke about a horror film. We made a film about the mystery of faith, which was his concept, his idea, his belief system.”
The Exorcist: Believer opens in theaters nationwide on October 6.