The Exorcist: Does this classic horror film really need a modern-day reboot?

The Exorcist. Image Courtesy Shudder
The Exorcist. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Bring out the holy water! The Exorcist joins the long list of classic movies that may be getting a modern-day reboot.

The 1973 classic horror film The Exorcist is reportedly getting a reboot. Buried at the end of a news article that Rachel Weisz has been tapped to star in a new gender-swapped reboot of Dead Ringers, Deadline randomly threw in a list of upcoming Morgan Creek’s projects. They include Stay Tuned for AMC and a theatrical release of The Exorcist reboot in 2021. Surprise?

The biggest question here is: Should The Exorcist even be rebooted in the first place?

No, and here’s why. The original film may have scared you to death, but it’s one of the greatest horror movies of all time. From the plot, to the special effects, to the superb acting, it’s a masterpiece. Too many films have already been made. Two sequels and two prequels have already failed to live up to the original.

Exorcist II: The Heretic is known as one of the worst horror movies of all time. One thing we’ve learned over the past couple of years is that reboots usually fail. With everything getting a reboot or remake, it feels like Hollywood is losing its creativity.

The Exorcist. Image Courtesy Shudder
The Exorcist. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Based on the 1971 novel of the same name, The Exorcist is one of the most widely known horror movies out there. Quite the success, both financially and otherwise, it’s spawned two sequels, two prequels, and a short-lived television series. The first film focuses on 12-year-old Regan (Linda Blair), who becomes possessed by the devil himself.  Running out of options, her mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn) calls Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) to perform an exorcism to rid her daughter of the evil inside her.

The movies that followed the original — TheExorcist II: The Heretic and The Exorcist III — weren’t met with much praise from fans or critics. Prequels Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist also received negative reviews when they were released.

A short-lived television adaptation of The Exorcist premiered on FOX in September 2016. Though met with critical acclaim, the show only lasted 2 seasons due to low viewership. Executive producer Jeremy Slater had exciting plans if it made it to season three.

During an interview with TVLine in 2018, he revealed:

"“Part of the story in season three would be Marcus having to use his connections to this religious underworld to track down his missing partner. If he can’t necessarily trust the Church anymore, because it’s been compromised, I think it’d be fun to see Marcus having to go outside the bounds of the Church and talk to some of the people he would have met over his last 30 years of exorcising people, he continued. [Sources] who deal in conspiracy theories, religious reliquaries, and things like that…Shamans and rabbis and people from different faiths who may be fighting the same evil using different terminology and different methodology.”"

While that does sound like it could tackle some interesting subjects, it doesn’t necessarily need to be attached to The Exorcist. It’s also not likely to appear in the reboot, which will rehash the events of the original film — events that were done well enough the first time around. We’d love to see more movies like The Exorcist, but to remake it entirely? No thanks.

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Are you looking forward to The Exorcist reboot? Do you think it will live up to the original? Sound off in the comments below.