Speak of The Devil: An Exorcist Miniseries?

Published 5 years ago by

the exorcist demon 570x457 Speak of The Devil: An Exorcist Miniseries?

Slash Film pointed us to a story over at Bloody-Disgusting (who got it from Cemetery Dance Magazine) talking about how author William Peter Blatty and director William Friedkin might be re-teaming for another take on The Exorcist, the book/screenplay/movie that made both men famous back in 1973-74, when The Exorcist became a horror film sensation, taking home multiple Oscars including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

So is The Devil (aka Hollyweird) at work here? Not so much. The actual word is that Blatty has been working on a (spec?) script for a new Exorcist project for some time now, and that Friedkin may be onboard to helm it.

Now, if you’re a careful reader (fewer and fewer of those these days…) you’ll notice that I said “new Exorcist project.” That project is NOT another unnecessary movie remake, but rather a new TV miniseries version of The Exorcist story, which would reportedly be a closer, more in-depth adaptation of Blatty’s novel. Here’s what Blatty had to say to Cemetery Dance Magazine:

“I would love to have been able to include the subplot involving Karl and his daughter Elvira which I did in my first draft, but that script ran to 172 pages, much, much too long. But I might have it my way in the near future, inasmuch as I’ve written an Exorcist miniseries script that not only faithfully includes all the main elements of the novel, but also some rather spooky new material and scenes, as well as a totally new (and perhaps much more satisfying) ending.”

Now, as hesitant as I am about tampering with a classic, as far as remakes (or new takes, re-imaginings, or whatever…) go, this possible new Exorcist project already has several things (possibly) going for it:

  1. The original writer/creator and director re-teaming for the project.
  2. A different structure and medium (TV miniseries) in which to play.
  3. New (hopefully expansive) ideas being introduced into the story.

If you’re going to tinker with that-which-should-not-be-messed-with, this is, at least, a better way to do it.

exorcist Speak of The Devil: An Exorcist Miniseries?

To be clear: no deal has yet been struck guaranteeing that we’ll be seeing this Exorcist miniseries – nor has there been any indication that Friedkin has been locked down to helm the project. However, I can’t imagine Blatty having that new script burning up a hole in his briefcase for too long before somebody comes calling for it – it’s not everyday that you get the mind behind a great story in a place where he/she is willing to go and revisit the work they’ve already done.

As for this whole miniseries angle? Hey, Stephen King wrote the teleplay for the 1997 TV miniseries version of his novel The Shining. And while I didn’t enjoy that miniseries anywhere as much as Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation, the TV miniseries was still interesting to watch, if only to compare how the same story could be imagined in two different ways. I say all that to say: as long as Blatty is onboard for doing the Exorcist on TV, I see no reason why I can’t give it a chance – especially if the miniseries can match the caliber of acclaimed miniseries like HBO’s Generation Kill (or any other HBO dramatic miniseries for that matter…).

What do you think: would you watch a TV miniseries re-telling of The Exorcist, or do you see it as blaspheme that even the author of the novel/screenplay wants to mess with a classic piece of cinema?

We’ll let you know how this project develops.

Sources: Cemetery Dance Magazine via Bloody-Disgusting via Slash Film

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  1. Do we need it?

  2. i must be in a bad mood today. nothing y’all have posted up on the site has made me happy. this story included. we certainly don’t need another exorcist film and i just don’t see how you could create a series out of this concept. while i agree that a mini-series might be the only logical way to do it, it would have to be someone like HBO or the like that could allow for the true “feeling” of the concept to really be brought out. you wouldn’t be able to put this on network tv. this is not a PG rated concept. I don’t even see this being able to be played out on FX or the other cable channels that are pushing the envelope these days. for it to be a proper exorcist, it needs to scare the bejesus out of us and you just can’t do that on the WB.

    they just need to write another book and release it that way.

  3. Id rather see the Omen get this treatment. See the rise of Damian from child to President Of the US Nation

  4. This would be great,only if it’s going to be on regular television,it will be toned down so much,it will lose it’s effectiveness,that the original did so well(the original still scares the hell out of me!)they should put it on HBO,Showtime,or Cinemax where they can do,show,say,or use graphic horror,the way the original did…

  5. No, no, please, just let us enjoy the original theatrical release. Don’t force-feed us yet another cheap rendition. If you do, I will root for the demon, pea soup and all.

  6. I would watch this. I think the subject of the movie was interesting, and while it didn’t go very in depth with some of the characters, it gave enough information for you to believe they didn’t just materialize in this movie, but had full and interesting lives before we saw them on screen.

    In a way, it would be like the Supernatural series. And it might be percieved as a rip-off of that popularity, even though the story came first.

    If they do bring it back, I hope they put enough time and effort to do it right.

  7. I think it’s a stupid idea to make it a TV Mini-Series.
    Do a few re-writes of the original script and “tighten it up”…no long, dragged-out Kinderman scenes, just speed-it-up a little, then add about 40 minutes of material from the book not originally used, and you’ve got a 150 minute movie for the BIG SCREEN.
    Make it even MORE explicit and intense than the original movie(the book is), give Blatty his 5 minute “Elvira” scene (that’s all it would last…it’s like 3 pages in the book!), more Demon Interviews,a longer Exorcisim and better special effects. But, everyone would go see it…so, the BIG SCREEN!!

  8. I have to admit that I would watch this. The Exorcist movie is the scariest movie that I have ever seen. I would love to see how a mini series could be pulled off. Some parts of the movie seemed to drag on forever and I think it would be hard to avoid these moments in a mini-series. My biggest fear is that the mini-series will be toned down so much that it loses the Exorcist “feel”. If it does air on television, I hope it’s HBO or some other premium cable show, so that they can maintain the horror feel that the original movie had and not a watered down version.

  9. I did watch the Exorcist when it originally came out and several times since then. I don’t really see how it could be done with justice as a miniseries but I would probably watch it anyway just because of the name.

  10. To be honest — I love the idea of Freidkin and Blatty teaming up. My only problem is that this would have to be a film to be shown only on “HBO” or one of the other cable channels because it would never work on regular television. To make this work — it MUST be a “MATURE AUDIENCE” film to give it the same “shock” as the original film was given. I hope Freidkin and Blatty hold true and follow that path with some new material from the original novel. It may just work if done correctly. We now have the film series complete so this hopefully will answer some unanswered questions (the demon Pazuzu’s origin?). Being a huge fan of the original film, I am curious to see how this will turn out. I hope they do this right.

  11. Please dont screw with the EXORCISIT this movie is horror Royalty this movie should not be touch there has not been any movie that scares the crap out of me ever. mabey if you could come with a movie that could live up to or better than EXORCISIT give a try mini series no! no!