The Exorcist: Believer director David Gordon Green on that climactic reunion and how the cameo happened (spoiler).
There’s a new Exorcist movie in theatres now, The Exorcist: Believer (read our review HERE), and for the first time in the franchise Ellen Burstyn reprises the role of Chris MacNeil, the character she played in the 1973 classic The Exorcist. Her presence has been a major selling point in the marketing of this movie – but there’s another returning cast member who makes a brief appearance in the film. We heard months ago that Linda Blair (who was also in Exorcist II: The Heretic) would be showing up in The Exorcist: Believer, and during an interview with People magazine director David Gordon Green talked about reuniting Burstyn and Blair for “a beautiful moment”.
Green told People, “It was just a really special moment to be a part of that reunion, to be a part of that legacy, the connection that’s so monumental that the two of those performers have. Witnessing that reconnection was really amazing.“
Green and his crew filmed two takes of the scene that Burstyn and Blair share, but it was the first take that made it into the finished film.
Blair also worked on The Exorcist: Believer as a consultant, helping Green “design the production around the psychology for the best wellbeing” of the child actors. Green said, “We had many conversations about having a child psychologist on set and what to do during production and what to do after production, what to do upon release of the film.“
The Exorcist: Believer is meant to be the first chapter in a new trilogy of Exorcist sequels, but Green wouldn’t say whether or not Burstyn and/or Blair factor into the sequels plans. He did say, “I’ve got a roadmap of infinite ideas of things that I’d like to do” in the follow-ups.
Green crafted the story for The Exorcist: Believer with Danny McBride (who wrote all three of his recent Halloween sequels with him) and their Halloween Kills co-writer Scott Teems, then wrote the screenplay with Peter Sattler (Broken Diamonds). Here’s the synopsis: Since the death of his pregnant wife in a Haitian earthquake 12 years ago, Victor Fielding has raised their daughter on his own. But when Angela and her friend Katherine, disappear in the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened to them, it unleashes a chain of events that will force Victor to confront the nadir of evil and, in his terror and desperation, seek out the only person alive who has witnessed anything like it before: Chris MacNeil.
Burstyn and Blair are joined in the cast by Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) as Victor, Lidya Jewett (Nightbooks) as Angela, and newcomer Olivia O’Neill as Angela’s friend Katherine. Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) plays Victor and Angela’s neighbor, and Jennifer Nettles (The Righteous Gemstones) and Norbert Leo Butz (Fosse/Verdon) play Katherine’s parents. Okwui Okpokwasili (Master) is also in the cast as Doctor Beehibe, and Raphael Sbarge (Carnosaur) plays a pastor.
The Exorcist: Believer was produced by Jason Blum, David Robinson, and James Robinson. Green, McBride, Stephanie Allain, and Couper Samuelson serve as executive producers. Ryan Turek oversaw the project for Blumhouse.
Universal Pictures and Peacock forked over an amount somewhere in the range of $400 million to acquire the rights to distribute this trilogy. Universal has already announced a release date for the second entry; The Exorcist: Deceiver will be reaching theatres on April 18, 2025.
Have you seen The Exorcist: Believer? If so, what did you think of the scene that Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/exorcist-believer-reunion/