The Exorcist Reboot’s Writer Explains Why He Feels More ‘Pressure’ Than With The Halloween Movies

Regan getting possessed in The Exorcist.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

It’s a great time to be a horror fan, as the genre has been thriving in a renaissance of exciting new projects for a number of years. Some of the best horror movies of all time have returned to theaters via new sequels, like the ongoing Halloween franchise which features the writing talents of Scott Teems. He’s also going to work on the upcoming Exorcist reboot, recently explaining why he feels more “pressure” than with Halloween.

The 2018 Halloween movie was a record-breaking success for director David Gordon Green, who would expand the story to a new trilogy while also booking gigs to reboot Hellraiser and The Exorcist. Halloween Kills’ Scott Teems is tasked with handling the latter reboot’s story, and recently shared with ComicBook why he feels so much more nervous about bringing that supernatural franchise back. As Teems put it,

It's a different beast than Halloween because of the way it's revered in a different way. They both are massively successful and massively popular films, but there's something about The Exorcist that, for whatever reason, people look at it a little more like it's more of a 'film' as opposed to a 'movie,' or however you might want to say it. I feel more pressure in The Exorcist, but I also just, end of the day, we all vowed not to tell this story unless we could tell it in a way that we felt honored.

He’s got a point. While the Halloween series is one of the most popular horror franchises of all time, The Exorcist has a unique place in film history, and therefore has some added pressure for the artists behind the upcoming reboot. But if anyone has the skills to bring new life to William Friedkin’s 1973 classic, it’s that team of filmmakers.

For an entire generation of moviegoers, The Exorcist is the scariest movie imaginable. The film world was forever changed as a result of the horror flick, especially within the genre. And so David Gordon Green and company must carefully craft a new installment while honoring the iconic visual style of the 1973 original.

Luckily for the countless fans of The Exorcist out there, the folks behind the upcoming reboot have definitely been working hard on bringing Regan’s story back to the big screen. Later in Scott Teems’ same interview, he explained how they started really hashing out the upcoming Blumhouse reboot in the early stages of the pandemic. In his words,

So we were breaking the story and trying to figure it all out well before there was any deal. Before we even tried to make a deal or to figure out the rights and all that, we wanted to be sure we could figure out a story. So that was our early COVID project, is every Friday morning during the beginning of COVID in early 2020 we would meet over Zoom, me and David and Danny [McBride], Jason Blum, and we would pitch ideas and we would bounce ideas around and I'd go off and write and David would go off and write and we'd come back together and pitch ideas and spent a couple of months doing that. And then we got this story we were excited about and presented it. So it wasn't until we were really sure … We didn't want to just do it to do it. We knew it had to be something we all believed in. And we did, we found it.

Well, I’m definitely excited. Rather than just being a money grab, it looks like the folks behind the Exorcist reboot are really passionate about putting a new spin on the beloved property. This is the same craftsmanship that audiences responded to with the 2018 Halloween, which featured John Carpenter’s use of tension and music.

While the pressure is on, that care is what might make the new Exorcist movie a modern classic. We’ll just have to see what David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Scott Teems have in store for audiences when it finally begins production. As the writer mentioned, there’s certainly a legacy that comes with the franchise.

Scott Teems’ new movie Firestarter hits theaters May 13th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.