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Blumhouse's The Exorcist 2 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

The Christmas holiday of 1973 ushered in a new breed of horror movie with the release of "The Exorcist." The unique style of realistic storytelling in a horror movie — joined by the rumors it retold the true story of an exorcism — catapulted the film to box-office success (via The Numbers), and made it one of only six horror movies ever nominated for Best Picture (per Hollywood Reporter). 

Now, after decades of failed sequels and spinoffs, Blumhouse Productions looks to return the franchise to its former glory.

With horror franchises like "Halloween," "The Purge," and "Sinister" under their banner, not to mention remakes like "Firestarter" and "The Craft," Blumhouse is undoubtedly equipped to handle revitalizing one of the most popular horror properties in history. Jason Blum of Blumhouse said (via Collider), "I love to do [these] kinds of movies because people are very emotional about it." He continues, "I think it's a high bar, and it's a challenge to do the movie. Remember, most of the audience coming to this — 95% of the audience who will, if we do our job right, come to see this movie — will not have seen the first 'Exorcist' or even heard of it."

With the eventual excitement coming about the king of exorcism movies being taken on by the king of horror production studios, audiences are clamoring for information and updates. We are still in early days, but here is what we know so far.

When will the new Exorcist movie release?

Sequels are one of the most common Hollywood traditions. When a movie is thriving at the box office, its success demands a follow-up. One of the more recently popular approaches to this formula, though, is the idea of setting up a franchise from the beginning, with the outline of what's ahead already sketched out — basically, greenlighting multiple sequels at the same time to set up longer character arcs and deeper storylines for bigger payoffs. Blumhouse is no stranger to this idea, as they already put this into practice with their "Halloween" franchise. 

And indeed, there seems to be a lot of possessions happening in the future for the exorcists to tend to, as Blumhouse has already planned their "Exorcist" follow-up as an entire trilogy of sequels (per Collider). 

While the original film was released at a more unconventional holiday for scary movies, the first film in the "Exorcist" sequel trilogy will hit the theaters nearer to the most frightening time of the year, as audiences will get an opportunity to scare themselves silly on October 13, 2023. 

Who is in the new Exorcist movie?

As soon as this "Exorcist" follow-up was announced, the first question on every fan's mind was who might be returning, particularly in the wake of Jamie Lee Curtis' sensational comeback in the new "Halloween" movies.

When a movie is as beloved as "The Exorcist," it almost always contains a cast consisting of beloved actors, as well. The 1973 film starred Linda Blair as the unfortunate 12-year-old child possessed by an unseen villain. Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller appeared as priests with the mission to deliver the young Reagan (Blair) from the demon, and Ellen Burstyn as the fearful mother. So far, Burstyn is the only original cast member confirmed to be returning for the sequel. 

While there is no word as of yet if Linda Blair will return — either in a cameo capacity or supporting character — Sydow and Miller won't be involved, as they both sadly passed. Leslie Odom Jr. has signed on as the male lead (via The Philly Voice), taking the role of the concerned parent. There is no word if each of the films will be separate installments with a talented priest going from family to family, similar to "The Conjuring" duo Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectfully), or if the trilogy will follow Burstyn's character as she attempts to help families and prevent them from going through the same travesty she faced.

What will it be about?

The 1973 film followed famous Hollywood actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) as she searched frantically for help for her possessed daughter, Reagan MacNeil (Linda Blair). Her search leads her to the Catholic Church, where she meets a young priest, Father Damian Karras (Jason Miller). In over his head, Father Karras turns to exorcist legend Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow).

While many of the plot details of the new film are being kept under wraps, we know that Leslie Odom Jr. will be searching for help for his possessed child and will turn to the veteran Burstyn. With a little bit of speculation, it seems likely that Burstyn will be taking over the older veteran role previously played by Max Von Sydow. When she sees how much trouble the father is in, she brings in a priest for help — or maybe the Catholic church reaches out to MacNeil to accompany a young and inexperienced priest. One of the more terrifying ideas to ponder is that the demon possessing Odom's child is the same one MacNeil faced decades before, bringing the original film full circle. 

However, this does raise a question — do the previous "Exorcist" sequels, while not exactly beloved, still count in this new continuity? Director David Gordan Green answered this question (via Total Film), as he revealed that while his reboot is a straight sequel to the original "Exorcist," he does enjoy the prior sequels, and has left room his universe for the other films to exist independently of his. 

Either way, with Blumhouse's track record of scaring audiences out of their seats, the following three sequels are primed to bring the franchise back to the heights of horror film royalty.