The 1973 classic The Exorcist is considered one of the most important horror films of all time. It was the first to be nominated for an Academy Award for best picture and was a major influence on the genre forever after. The film was based on the novel of the same name, which itself was roughly based on the alleged real-life exorcism by priests of the Catholic Church in 1940. FOX, clearly wanting to make the most out of their portfolio of properties, recently green-lit a number of TV series – among them a remake of The Exorcist.
The new series pilot is directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), with a script by Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four). It stars Oscar-winner Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise) as Angela Rance, the mother of the accursed. Ben Daniels (House of Cards) and Alfonso Herrera (Sense8) play two priests who begin investigating the possession of Angela’s daughter. Exorcisms are assumed to follow.
The first trailer released by Fox focused on the setup of the plot. This brand new one released on the company Facebook page for Comic-Con week seems to focus more on the visceral thrills the show has in store for audiences.
For those wondering how the original story could be stretched out into an entire series, the new trailer for The Exorcist TV show seems to begin to touch on that. It appears that the show will feature multiple possessions, and possibly a conspiracy within the Catholic Church. At this point, it’s not clear if Geena Davis’ character will be a series regular or if she’s just the first case in an exorcism procedural. The two priests seem to come from two very different places, with Daniels’ Father Lang seeming more than a bit shell-shocked from his past experiences. Will the show have him training up the fresh-faced and by-the-book Father Ortega to combat satanic forces, buddy-cop style? Only time will tell, but if so, FOX has a backup if the Lethal Weapon series doesn’t rate well.
Visually, the series seems off to an excellent start, likely due to Wyatt’s excellent direction. Whether or not the showrunners will be able to maintain a feature-quality look and pacing long term is something that’s impossible to tell from a trailer. Hopefully horror fans will be pleasantly surprised once the show hits this fall.
The Exorcist premieres Friday, September 23rd @9pm on FOX.