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There’s been a lot of talk lately over the idea of a remake for The Exorcist, the 1973 horror classic. Well, Morgan Creek Productions holds the rights to any remakes, and the company says that just ain’t gonna happen.
While Morgan Creek clearly has a definite opinion about this, their Twitter comment, which came via Bloody Disgusting, doesn’t give us any idea if the company will add to the list of sequels, prequels and off shoots of the enduring property. Just that they’d like to let the original masterpiece stand on its own.
The Exorcist (which was based on a 1971 New York Times bestseller of the same name) was released to critical acclaim, and, until Silence of the Lambs in 1991, was the only horror film to ever be nominated for the Academy Award. There were a whopping ten nominations for the movie, which led to wins for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound. The creepy opening theme (Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield) even became a Billboard chart topper. I can’t, for the life of me, though, understand why anyone would want to listen to that unnerving musical masterpiece at, say, a Christmas party.
The film has already spawned two sequels (Exorcist II: The Heretic in 1977and The Exorcist III in 1990) and one prequel (Exorcist: The Beginning in 2004). The idea that any filmmakers could stretch this idea out any more seems unlikely but that doesn’t mean someone, somewhere isn’t willing to try. Possession stories have quickly become their own subset of the horror genre. Films like The Evil Dead (1981), Jennifer’s Body (2009), Insidious (2010) and The Rite (2011) have made quick work of helping movie possessions survive. There’s even a Blaxploitation version from 1974 called Abby. Everyone has been in on the demonic possession game.
My mom took me to the drive-in to see this movie, two years after it debuted. It should be noted that I was a one-year-old. Luckily, I was too young for me to remember anything of it now. But, my mom likes to regale folks of the story so she can recount how I crawled over the back seats curing up a storm like the demon girl in the movie.
So, what could a determined filmmakers do with The Exorcist now if they were to try to keep the sequels going? I think the right writer could eek out a new trilogy pretty easily. Obviously the young girl from the original film has children eventually, believing her demon days long behind her. Let’s say she has triplets, and in each subsequent movie she has to get each triplet exorcised as we find that the demon just jumps from triplet to triplet, joined, of course by an additional demon each time. You know, like people who bring uninvited guests to dinner parties with them.
The tiles of these three films would be pretty easy, too. Exorcist IV: The Exorcising, Exorcist V: Exorcism Boogaloo and Exorcist VI: Dammit, Maybe We Should Just Give Up are sure to be big hits. I didn’t say they’d actually be any good, though.