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Home > Everything We Know About The Exorcist: Believer

Everything We Know About The Exorcist: Believer

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50 Years Later, The Power of Ellen Burstyn Still Compels You

With all eyes on feminism in Barbie and Cillian Murphy’s mesmerizing eyes disarming us in Oppenheimer, what about the oft-forgotten girls possessed by demons? The Exorcist: Believer brings the focus back to this harrowing issue with the return of film legend Ellen Burstyn, reprising her role from The Exorcist (1973).

What Was The Exorcist About?

Regan (Linda Blair) was a possessed little girl who did unseemly things, such as projectile vomiting and urinating on the floor. However, she’s not to be confused with another Regan, Ronald Regan, who was also a terror, although any reports of him openly urinating on White House floors have largely remained hush-hush due to censorship. Furthermore, the original film came out in 1973 before Ronald Regan’s 1980 Presidential reign. Back then, Ronald was rising the political rankings or still acting. Or something like that.

But this isn’t about politics; it’s about a child who begins acting differently than girls her own age by levitating, speaking in tongues, and saying things that you could only imagine on the dark web. To mitigate this, her mother, Chris, enlists medical help, but since the American healthcare system sucks, she doesn’t get far. Sadly, this was before the digital age, where the mom could have just followed wellness influencers peddling supplement cures on TikTok. 

As a last resort, the mother brings her daughter to a priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who assesses her and thinks the most logical explanation is that the girl has been taken hold of by Satan and requires an exorcist, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), also known as a “Catholic influencer” – meaning his followers are Catholics. *As of this publication, it is not known whether exorcist influencers have taken hold of social media. 

Who’s Behind The 2023 Sequel?

It’s hard to believe this upcoming direct sequel to the 1973 classic is actually the sixth film in the series. David Gordon Green (Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends) serves as the director and writer. When he wrote the chant “Evil Dies Tonight” in Halloween Kills, he misled us because The Exorcist: Believer sure looks like evil hasn’t died, or if it did, it’s been resurrected. In addition, the other writer on Green’s side is Peter Sattler, and together their screenplay developed from a story written by Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green. 

Who’s not behind this film? William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist (1973). After news broke that a direct sequel to his lauded film was coming out, Friedkin posted on Twitter: “There’s not enough money or motivation in the world to get me to do this.” This was in direct contrast to Ellen Burstyn, who showed up on set after she got a massive sum of money – as all women do when presented with cold hard cash and ego validation.

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What Can We Expect?

According to director Green, it features two girls who vanish after school, and when they come back, they are forever changed – with some strange behaviors since they “are in synchronized possession.” And while some find it cute to hear about couples being so in sync that their heartbeats align, it’s not as heartwarming when you realize the matching tickers are shared by two cute kids now possessed by the devil. 

In the trailer, this moment is displayed to the horror of the hospital attendants. Moreover, we see a girl who begins mumbling in a language that is hard to decipher, even for those who spent a year as a teacher in France. The last time some may have heard such discordant rambling was when their friend, Emily, did an impression of a Christian cult she escaped from by demonstrating “speaking in tongues.” At the time, a suitable response from the listener probably didn’t involve saying how badly they wished they could have time traveled to witness this spectacle live.

Why Should We Watch Another Hollywood Reboot?

This isn’t The Exorcist reboot; it’s a sequel…but also the first film of a new Exorcist trilogy – a concept that could make your head spin faster than Linda Blair’s. Anyway, back to reasons we should care. Here are two: Ellen Burstyn and two demonic-possessed girls. Technically that’s three, but we’ll lump the two demon girls as one since they’ve got that conjoined heartbeat and all.

So yeah, Ellen Burstyn – the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony award-winning actress was lured back into this universe. Although she’s refused to return for sequels, she recently discussed why she changed her mind. Like her character Chris, Burstyn pointed to the power of “the devil” in getting her to sign back onto the Hollywood franchise. Moreover, when she saw how much money the execs would offer, she remarked, “I feel like the devil is asking my price.” Whereas before, she would have enlisted the help of an exorcist, this time, Burstyn got the help of her agent. Undoubtedly, the agent must have levitated right off their chair in excitement when they saw how much their client could command.

Some may decry how Burstyn is solely under the devil’s influence because all it took was boatloads of money to get her to leave her artistic integrity behind. However, she actually took it as a means of paying it forward – funding not only a scholarship program for a Master’s Degree Program at Pace University but one for young actors alike.

An Acting Powerhouse In Her 90s

If you have any doubts about why it’s worthwhile to support this film, Ellen Burstyn’s charitable endeavors should solidify your ticket purchase. Plus, it’s pretty incredible to see Burstyn as an acting powerhouse at age 90. Championing her work is sending the message that just because you’re over a certain age doesn’t mean you can’t carry a film and are worthless. Sure, you may be worthless elsewhere, but that’s for a different discussion. 

Produced by Blumhouse and Morgan Creek and distributed by Universal, The Exorcist: Believer will be released on October 13. 


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The Exorcist: Believer (2023) Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Laura is a screenwriter and script consultant based in New York. She has a penchant for absurd comedy and psychological thrillers.