- The Exorcist reboot trilogy is unlikely to continue due to major setbacks and negative reception of the latest film, The Exorcist: Believer.
- Director David Gordon Green’s departure from the trilogy puts the creative vision and future of the sequels in limbo.
- The failure of The Exorcist: Believer, both critically and financially, suggests that Blumhouse and Universal should consider canceling the sequels to avoid tarnishing the quality of the franchise.
With recent major setbacks with The Exorcist: Deceiver, it seems impossible that the Exorcist reboot trilogy will continue. In 1973, Warner Bros. Pictures released The Exorcist, a prolific horror movie about a young girl named Regan who gets possessed and her mother, Chris MacNeil, who desperately seeks out help for her daughter. The movie made important social commentary on the nature of evil, existential fear, and faith. Since then, two prequels, three sequels, and one TV series have come out, attempting to recapture the magic of the original. The most recent addition to the list is The Exorcist: Believer, which came out in 2023.
The Exorcist: Believer was announced as part of a new Exorcist trilogy, capturing the interest of franchise fans. Upon release, the film wasn’t well-received, but the studios responsible for the trilogy – Blumhouse and Universal – stated with certainty that they would continue making the next film, The Exorcist: Deceiver. Unfortunately, the trilogy hit another major roadblock in early January. With the number of setbacks the franchise has faced, it seems increasingly unlikely that the new Exorcist trilogy will continue.
The Exorcist: Believer is available to stream on Peacock.
The Exorcist Trilogy Is In Big Trouble After David Gordon Green’s Exit
The Exorcist Trilogy Will Likely Struggle To Maintain A Cohesive Creative Vision
Director David Gordon Green led The Exorcist: Believer and was already attached to the sequel The Exorcist: Deceiver. However, the Exorcist reboot trilogy faced a major setback when word broke that Green will no longer direct the sequel. His removal makes sense after The Exorcist: Believer tanked, but it also puts the next two movies in limbo. Green was expected to direct all three films, providing a consistent creative vision. In an interview with Collider, he said he already had a road map for the next two films. By letting him go, Blumhouse doesn’t show much confidence in his plan, raising the question whether the trilogy should even continue.
It’s highly likely that any new director attached to The Exorcist: Deciever will need to regroup completely. The production team may be inclined to rework the script for the sequel after the failure of The Exorcist: Believer. They have already removed the release date for The Exorcist: Deceiver. Moreover, they’ll need to come up with a new concept and structure. This could be a good thing, but it’s also a challenge. The new director can’t completely throw out the previous movie since it’s a trilogy. Thus, they’ll have to find a way to go in a new direction while maintaining enough of the past movie for it to feel cohesive.
The Exorcist: Every Change & New Scene In The Director’s Cut
In 2000, The Exorcist received an extended director’s cut, at the time called The Version You’ve Never Seen, and here’s what it changes.
The Exorcist: Believer Was Not Successful Enough To Warrant A New Trilogy
The Exorcist: Believer Struggled With Critics And Audiences Alike
The Exorcist: Deciever losing its director and release date isn’t the only thing making the future of the franchise uncertain. Blumhouse and Universal should have canceled the trilogy right away after the disastrous reception of The Exorcist: Believer. This film failed by every metric. The Exorcist: Believer cost approximately $20 million to make, plus the $400 million cost for the distribution rights. In contrast, the film grossed $136 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo). Even if every movie in the franchise grossed that same amount, they still wouldn’t break even with what they’ve spent so far, and that’s discounting the production costs for the next two movies.
The film also only holds a 22% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the 78% score of the original and the 89% score of the series. The scathing reviews of The Exorcist: Believer point out that the movie brings nothing new to the table, isn’t ambitious, and wasted the return of Ellen Burstyn’s Chris MacNeil. This could be written off if the viewers felt differently. After all, it isn’t uncommon for horror fans to love movies that the critics hate. Unfortunately, even audiences didn’t seem thrilled with the movie, criticizing its lack of scares. Just based on the first movie, Blumhouse and Universal should probably cut their losses.
The Exorcist Sequels Should Be Canceled Now
Blumhouse And Universal Shouldn’t Waste Their Time On This Trilogy
While it may disappoint some viewers, the best choice of action at this point is to cancel sequels to The Exorcist: Believer. It seems extremely unlikely that either of the sequels would be good following the film’s negative outcome. By losing their director and creative direction, the sequels are also at risk of foundering. If Blumhouse and Universal continue with the movies, they’ll feel like massive cash grabs that could turn off fans.
What’s more, it’s important to preserve the quality of the IP. The Exorcist is considered one of the best and scariest horror movies of all time. By adding more low-quality movies, the studios would be weakening the franchise. It’s better to cancel the current trilogy and approach it again when a team has a solid idea and plan that will uphold the high standards set by the original Exorcist movie and the TV series.
Sources: Collider, Box Office Mojo, and Rotten Tomatoes
The Exorcist: Deceiver
- David Gordon Green
- Not Yet Rated
- David Gordon Green
- Story By
- William Peter Blatty
- Morgan Creek Entertainment
- Universal Pictures , Peacock