The latest trailer for Universal's The Exorcist: Believer suggests the fate of Regan MacNeil, played by Linda Blair in The Exorcist and Exorcist II: The Heretic. Blair reportedly visited the set of The Exorcist: Believer as an advisor, but it's still unknown if she appears in the movie as Regan.
Ellen Burstyn, who plays Regan's mother, Chris MacNeil, in The Exorcist, reprises her role for The Exorcist: Believer. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Exorcist: Believer director David Gordon Green says, “Her character ended up becoming fascinated by exorcism and studying the rites and rituals of possession throughout culture. [She] became a bit of an expert. Not an exorcist herself, but renowned for the books that she's written.” Green does not confirm if Blair appears in the new film but says that the story “alludes to her character in a number of ways.”
Regan MacNeil Is Mentioned by Name in the New The Exorcist: Believer Trailer
In the latest trailer for The Exorcist: Believer, Regan is mentioned by name. During a sequence when Chris MacNeil speaks with the possessed Katherine (Olivia Marcum), the latter tells Chris, “Don't be scared.” Chris says, “We've met before.” Katherine says in a demonic voice, “Are you looking for Regan?” The Exorcist fans know that demons speaking through a possessed person frequently lie and whatever they say is questionable, but, if true, the trailer clip suggests that Regan is dead. Whether the character's name is pronounced “REE-gan” or “RAY-gan” is still open for debate, because both pronunciations are heard throughout the franchise's history.
In the same interview with Entertainment Weekly, Green says, “The concept of this movie is two young girls disappear after school one day. When they return, they are in a different mental state and exhibiting some peculiar attributes. We come to learn that they are in a synchronized possession.”
Green recently directed the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in Halloween, Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends. Similarly, the requel The Exorcist: Believer is intended to kick off a new trilogy of Exorcist films that are a direct continuation of the 1973 classic, ignoring all other movies in the franchise, including the much-maligned Exorcist II: The Heretic, which stars Blair, as well as The Exorcist III and two prequels.
The Exorcist: Believer starring Burstyn, Marcum, Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Jennifer Nettles opens in theaters on October 6. The original release date of October 13 was changed to avoid opening-day competition with the concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.