Network primetime often falls short with bringing epic horror to the small screen, but Fox is looking to change that with its upcoming adaptation of The Exorcist. As The Exorcist is widely considered one of the most terrifying movies of all time, Fox will have to deliver something seriously scary with the series to even slightly live up to the original. Now, the actors for the two lead characters have been cast, and they may well have what it takes to raise the fright factor on television when The Exorcist hits the airwaves.
The series has been described as a serialized psychological thriller following two men with very different outlooks on life working together to tackle one family’s case of demonic possession. They’ll confront the face of true evil together. The most memorable moments of the film definitely revolve around the possessed Regan, but the series will undoubtedly only work if the men in the lead roles can carry the show on a weekly basis. Luckily, Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels just might have the chops to pull it off.
Alfonso Herrera will take on the role of Father Tomas Ortega, who is the warm, selfless, and compassionate leader of a small church. Herrera made his break as a telenovela star in Mexican television, then made his American acting debut via a recurring role on Netflix’s Sense8. Fox discovered Herrera when he was cast as the male lead in the network’s Urban Cowboy pilot. Although nothing ultimately came of Urban Cowboy, Herrera landing the Exorcist gig is proof enough that Fox considers him a talent worth keeping around.
Ben Daniels will tackle the part of Father Marcus, who is the holy warrior who carries out the occupation of exorcism that the church no longer is willing to publicly acknowledge. Daniels is no stranger to dark and/or twisted television thanks to his roles on Netflix’s House of Cards and Starz’ Flesh and Bone. From the looks of things, he’ll need to bring an awful lot of intensity to Father Marcus, but there’s no reason to be anything but optimistic about him.
It’s somewhat harder to be optimistic about other aspects of the Exorcist project. The original movie was so well-done that it’s hard to imagine the series doing anything but falling short, and the fact that the man who wrote the the abysmal Fantastic Four remake is penning the pilot doesn’t instill a lot of confidence. Jeremy Slater may not have been solely responsible for Fantastic Four flopping, but it’s hard to be enthusiastic about his contributions to the new Exorcist series.
At this point, it’s hard to say whether or not The Exorcist will work on television, but we’re getting closer to seeing for ourselves thanks to Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels landing the lead roles. It’ll still be some time before we see any footage, but at least we have an awesome movie to re-watch in the meantime.