Universal is set to pay $ 400 million for the rights to a new trilogy continuing the story of The Exorcist.
The new films will see original star Ellen Burstyn reprise her Oscar-nominated role from Chris MacNeil alongside Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr as a father stalking her when his daughter is possessed.
The first film will hit theaters in October 2023, with subsequent films available for direct release on Universal Peacock’s U.S. streaming service. The franchise will be opened by David Gordon Green, who directed the new Halloween trilogy with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising his role as Laurie Strode. Halloween grossed over $ 255 million in 2018 and its sequel, Halloween Kills, will be released later this year after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Rather than reboot or remake, the new films are described as “a compelling continuation” of the 1973 original which grossed over $ 440 million at the box office and won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The previous sequels and prequels failed to convince audiences or critics and will be ignored in the “direct” sequel. There was also a TV sequel in 2016, which spanned two seasons with Geena Davis.
The news follows Netflix’s $ 450 million deal to retain the rights to the next two Knives Out movies as competition between streamers intensifies. Next year will also see a similar relaunch of Paramount’s Scream franchise.
Burstyn was recently acclaimed for her role in the bereavement drama Pieces of a Woman and will subsequently be seen on Showtime The First Lady as Sara Delano Roosevelt alongside Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson and Kiefer Sutherland. .
Odom Jr was recently nominated for an Oscar for playing Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami and will next be seen in the Sopranos’ prequel The Many Saints of Newark and Knives Out 2.