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The last Exorcist movie was so bad that Blumhouse has enlisted horror maestro Mike Flanagan to change course

Why didn't they just do this from the get-go?

The Exorcist (1973)
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Not many moviegoers remember that a 'legacy' sequel to The Exorcist came out last year, and it's not surprising, considering Believer only made $136 million worldwide; a respectable number for a horror flick, but not for The Exorcist IP, especially after spending $400 million on acquiring the rights. It also was panned by most critics and horror aficionados. Blumhouse is well aware of how hard it fumbled the bag, as it has now scrapped the sequel trilogy plans and gone to horror maestro Mike Flanagan asking for help.

Via Deadline, the announcement came on May 29, with Flanagan himself also confirming the news on social media. According to the filmmaker, his approach for the long-running (and mostly disappointing) movie series will be "fresh, bold, and terrifying." If anyone can nail that at this point, it's probably him.

Blumhouse honcho Jason Blum, the man who enlisted David Gordon Green in the first place to tackle a new riff on The Exorcist after his so-so Halloween trilogy, expressed his excitement: "Mike’s voice and vision are indispensable for horror fans and we are excited to welcome him back to Blumhouse. I immediately responded to Mike’s new take on the world of The Exorcist and can’t wait for audiences to experience it." Chances are he made the right call (or at least a far better one) this time around.

On top of Blumhouse, the new installment will be produced by Trevor Macy (Oculus) on behalf of Intrepid Pictures and Flanagan himself via his new Red Room Pictures banner. Plot details are being kept in the dark for now, but anyone familiar with Flanagan's body of work should know he's great at both delivering traditional horror thrills, getting great performances out of the actors, and throwing more than a couple of curveballs per story our way. On top of his fantastic Netflix series, such as The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, he already cracked the sequel that no one thought could be really good: Doctor Sleep (a follow-up to The Shining).

Flanagan is currently deep in post-production of The Life of Chuck, an adaptation of Stephen King's novella included in the 2020 collection If It Bleeds, and has recently boarded Chris Stuckmann's debut found footage movie Shelby Oaks as executive producer.

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