The Exorcist: David Gordon Green sequel is 90 percent done, cinematographer says
Last month, director David Gordon Green’s sequel to the 1973 classic The Exorcist (watch it HERE) – the first in what Green intends to be a trilogy of Exorcist sequels – had to take a longer holiday break than expected when lead actor Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) ran into an unspecified health issue and wasn’t able to continue working. Filming was expected to resume sometime this month, and cinematographer Michael Simmonds has confirmed to Syfy Wire that there isn’t much of the movie left to shoot. In fact, Simmonds said Green’s Exorcist is “90 percent done”.
Green previously directed a trilogy of Halloween sequels (Halloween 2018, Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends), and Simmonds was the cinematographer on those films as well. Simmonds said that the approach being taken to the new Exorcist movie is “completely different than Halloween. It’s certainly more suspenseful and claustrophobic and true to the original material. A Halloween movie is going to inherently be like a soap opera [with] drama, moments of camp, and callbacks. Much of these Halloween movies are for the fans with references to random stuff from the last 30 years of these things. And [the new Exorcist] is not gonna be like that.“
Endeavoring to stay true to the work cinematographer Owen Roizman did on the original The Exorcist, which was directed by William Friedkin, Simmonds said he is “trying to make shots that last longer. I’m trying to use zooms. I’m trying to add frames that are scary to look at. I’m trying to make the lighting effective and naturalistic. And I’m shooting spherical for the first time in a really long time. Because the original Exorcist was not anamorphic, it was spherical. So that’s super fun. With the Halloween films, it’s always been anamorphic.“
Universal and Peacock paid an amount somewhere in the range of $400 million to acquire the rights to distribute this new Exorcist trilogy. Coming to us from Blumhouse Productions and Morgan Creek Entertainment, the films are being produced by Jason Blum, David Robinson, and James Robinson. Green, Danny McBride, and Couper Samuelson serve as executive producers. Ryan Turek is overseeing the project for Blumhouse.
Green crafted the story for The Exorcist 2023 with Peter Sattler (Broken Diamonds), then wrote the screenplay with McBride (who wrote all three of the new Halloweens with him) and their Halloween Kills co-writer Scott Teems.
Original Exorcist star Ellen Burstyn reprises the role of Chris MacNeil in the film – and was at the center of eight days of filming that already took place last year. (As both she and Green have confirmed.) Burstyn and Odom are joined in the cast by Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale). Details are being kept under wraps, but we do know that Odom is playing a character who tracks down Chris MacNeil after his child becomes possessed.
Green’s The Exorcist is scheduled to be released on October 13, 2023. After seeing what Green did with his Halloween trilogy, are you looking forward to seeing what he has done with the Exorcist franchise? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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