Halloween Ends director David Gordon Green, claims that he was almost ready to step away from the horror genre before being offered the new The Exorcist reboot. A filmmaker with an eclectic career, Green has helmed both dramatic works such as the 2007 adaptation of the Stewart O’Nan novel Snow Angels, along with less serious fare such as 2008’s Pineapple Express with Seth Rogan. In 2017 Green was tapped to co-write and direct a new Halloween project for Blumhouse Productions, which would ultimately become a new trilogy of films that served as direct sequels to the 1978 film but retroactively ignored all the other sequels which followed it. The final installment in Green’s trilogy, Halloween Ends, was just released this past week in theaters and via streaming on Peacock.
In 2020 Blumhouse and Morgan Creek announced that once Green had finished his duties on Halloween Ends he would be helming a reboot of The Exorcist, based on the best-selling novel by William Peter Blatty. Much like his approach to the Halloween franchise, Green is set to create a new trilogy that also serves as a direct sequel to the original 1973 film and ignores all the other sequels and prequels. Original star Ellen Burstyn, who played the mother of Linda Blair’s possessed Regan MacNeil, is also set to reprise her role in the upcoming films.
Speaking with THR off the back of Halloween Ends’ recent release, Green admitted that he was contemplating moving onto other genres before Blumhouse’s Jason Blum offered him the opportunity to helm The Exorcist. Saying that it “was just time to move on,” he was presented with what he claims was “the perfect property and the perfect idea.” Check out his full comments below:
That’s the truth. I really did have every intention of saying, ‘I’m going to push pause on horror,’ as much as I love the genre. It was just time to move on until the perfect property and the perfect idea happened at the same time. So we’re developing The Exorcist, and Ellen Burstyn, along with an amazing cast, is coming together for that, with a script I’m really excited about. Technically, it’s an extraordinarily different film from Halloween. I guess it’s in the subgenre of horror, but dramatically, I’m approaching it very academically.
Can The Exorcist Learn From Halloween’s Mistakes?
While Green’s first Halloween film was showered with rave reviews, and the film was praised for staying true to the spirit of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, its sequel Halloween Kills saw a rapid decline in critical reception. Meanwhile, the recently released Halloween Ends is also receiving mixed reviews. While it is being hailed as an improvement over its predecessor, many critics have also taken issue with what they claim is a lackluster conclusion to the trilogy. If Green hopes to fare better with The Exorcist trilogy, he will hopefully apply the lessons he learned from working with Michael Myers.
Of course, The Exorcist is a very different kind of property to Halloween’s slasher horror, and perhaps Green’s previous experience in dramatic filmmaking will translate well over to supernatural horror. As Green’s first Halloween film proves, he already has a strong grasp of what is needed to breathe fresh life into a much-beloved franchise, he will just need to ensure that he avoids another second film slump. No doubt fans of The Exorcist will be hoping Green takes what he has learned from his time working on the Halloween franchise and crafts a far more consistent trilogy of films.