The Exorcist Might Finally Get a Good Sequel

The Power of Christ compels you to the multiplex.

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The Exorcist brought horror cinema to bold new heights, then promptly tumbled down the mountaintop. William Friedkin’s terrifying possession tale gave an entire generation nightmares, but every attempt to follow it up fell flat. The Exorcist II: The Heretic and The Exorcist III both failed to match the original, and a 2016 sequel TV series was canceled after two forgettable seasons.

The franchise had slipped so far that when a reboot trilogy was announced in 2020, fans petitioned for it to be canceled. Nonetheless, David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer came and went last year, and Inverse calling it “a pathetic imitation” was somehow one of the more generous reviews. Now Universal is looking to reboot the reboot, and to do so they’re breaking out the big guns by hiring an acclaimed horror director with a built-in fanbase.

Mike Flanagan has no shortage of horror experience.

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According to Deadline, Blumhouse and Universal are in talks with Mike Flanagan to direct the next Exorcist movie. While Believer was meant to start a trilogy, director David Gordon Green stepped away after its release, leaving space for someone to take future movies in a new direction.

Enter Flanagan, who carved out his own universe at Netflix. Using original stories and adaptations of classic horror literature, Flanagan earned a reputation for making personal and cerebral horror, from The Haunting of Hill House to the Fall of the House of Usher. He also has experience with classic horror movies, having directed The Shining’s 2019 sequel, Doctor Sleep.

Flanagan already revived one iconic horror franchise. Could The Exorcist be next?

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Notably, Flanagan also found success telling a story of religious horror and guilt in Midnight Mass, his only original Netflix series. Those themes, of course, are a crucial part of The Exorcist and its follow-ups, and with the recent success of Immaculate and The First Omen proving that old-school Catholic-tinged horror can still be successful, Flanagan has a path to restoring the franchise to where it belongs in the horror pantheon. Although with another Stephen King adaptation, The Life of Chuck, already in the works, he might first have to slay the scheduling demon.

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