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Here's Everything We Know So Far About The New Exorcist Movie Trilogy

"The Exorcist" is widely considered to be one of the best horror movies ever made. Based on William Peter Blatty's novel of the same name, the 1973 film about a young girl being possessed by the devil remains iconic, whether you're talking about Linda Blair's legendary performance as Regan MacNeil, or the special effects — including the spinning bed, and Regan puking up massive amounts of green pea soup.

Of course, "The Exorcist" is famous for more than just great acting and stunningly horrific monster effects: its story is exactly the kind that stays with you long after you've watched the movie. More than being a film about demonic possession, "The Exorcist" explores the horror of Father Karras' (Jason Miller) crisis of faith being answered by proof of the darkest supernatural power imaginable. Similarly, Regan's mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn) must wrestle with the knowledge that all the money and all the science in the world cannot save her child from the unknown lurking within her — all she can rely on is blind faith.

The only problem with making a movie like "The Exorcist" is that it's nearly impossible to follow it up successfully. "Exorcist II: The Heretic" is infamous for losing the thread of the first film, and while "The Exorcist III" is largely considered to be underrated, further efforts to visit the world of "The Exorcist" have generally suffered from a severe case of diminishing returns. Most recently, "The Exorcist" was unexpectedly continued through a television series which lasted two seasons. 

However, we're getting more information regarding a new "The Exorcist" trilogy which sounds like it could be the most faithful attempt to continue the story yet.

Who is making the new Exorcist trilogy?

David Gordon Green has already achieved the astonishing accomplishment of returning audiences to the world of "Halloween" and reuniting Jamie Lee Curtis with Laurie Strode — the role that made her a star, and a character she (at that point) hadn't played since Strode was frustratingly killed off in the 2002 film "Halloween: Resurrection." Green blissfully wrote over every "Halloween" film, save the original, to weave together a new trilogy of films revealing the true trauma Michael Myers has left on Laurie Strode, her family, and the town of Haddonfield.

Now, per The Hollywood Reporter, Green is taking on "The Exorcist" in a strikingly similar fashion to how he handled "Halloween." Green is bringing forth a new "The Exorcist" trilogy which looks to continue the original film once again through the lens of Chris MacNeil. Behind the scenes, Jason Blum is set to produce the new trilogy along with Morgan Creek's David Robinson. The project was acquired for Universal and reportedly sold for a whopping $400 million.

Of course, the money being spent is not half as interesting as the characters and the story for the new trilogy.

Who will star in the new Exorcist trilogy?

The closest we've gotten in a very long time to a "The Exorcist" continuation was the first season of the 2016 Fox television series. The show's story deals with devil-worshippers and a desire to bring more demons to our Earthly plain, but the root of Season 1's story is really about a grown-up Regan MacNeill suddenly finding that one of her daughters is possessed.

In the series, Regan was played by Geena Davis, and while Davis is a wonderful talent, it was strange seeing someone other than Linda Blair in the role. And it was equally frustrating for fans when Chris MacNeill turned up on the show as well, but played by Sharon Gless, rather than Ellen Burstyn.

While there's been no word as yet on an appearance from Regan, it is confirmed that Burstyn will finally reprise her role as Chris MacNeill for Green's new trilogy. Burstyn will also be joined by franchise newcomer and Hamilton alum Leslie Odom Jr.

What will the Exorcist trilogy's story be about?

When David Gordon Green brought Michael Myers back, the story was one where Myers escapes with the intention of returning to Haddonfield to continue his killing spree. Just as importantly, his "Halloween" continuation is a story about Laurie Strode, her daughter, and her granddaughter, seeking retribution and peace after the generational trauma they suffered at the hands of Michael Myers.

Based on what we know of the new "The Exorcist" trilogy so far, Green looks to be telling a very similar story, albeit from an almost inverted place. Leslie Odom Jr. will be playing the father of a child who becomes possessed. Instead of Father Karras or Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow), Odom Jr.'s character finds himself seeking out the only parent who he thinks will understand — Chris MacNeill.

This is Burstyn's first return to the franchise, but we don't yet know is if she will be returning alone. There is no confirmation, as of yet, regarding whether Linda Blair will also appear as Regan — or if Regan is even still alive.

When is the new Exorcist trilogy coming out?

For now, David Gordon Green is still technically busy toiling away on "Halloween." While the original film in his new trilogy was released way back in 2018, due to delays, the second film "Halloween Kills" isn't being released until October 15, 2021. And that leaves the third film "Halloween Ends," set for a tentative October 2022 release.

Green doesn't seem interested in shifting focus to "The Exorcist" until his "Halloween" duties are complete. However, we do know that, at least as of now, the first new "Exorcist" film is slated to hit theaters in late 2023.

It's also worth noting that there's a potentially interesting fate for the following two films in the new "Exorcist" trilogy. According to Deadline, part of the deal struck with Universal entitles the company to potentially debut parts two and three not in theaters, but, rather, on their streaming platform Peacock instead. Whether or not that pans out is anyone's guess, but this does represent an interesting potential continuation to the streaming vs. theaters saga which began when Warner Bros. decided to simultaneously debut their 2020 film slate in both theaters and on HBO Max. It's entirely possible Universal may decide to do the same for this new "Exorcist" trilogy, but with Peacock.