When Universal acquired the rights to the Exorcist franchise, they coughed up a pretty penny — $400 million, to be exact. Champagne bottles probably weren’t popping after its opening weekend, when the first out of the gate, The Exorcist: Believer, only netted $44.2 million worldwide. The studio is soldiering ahead with the franchise anyway, but they might not be demanding a change of plan.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, sources say that the trilogy laid out by filmmaker David Gordon Green will “almost certainly” receive “some degree of creative rethink for the next two films” in the wake of the box office underperformance. That’s a shame because the first sequel, called The Exorcist: Deceiver, already had a shooting script, as well as a release date for 2025.
Over the weekend, THR ran an interview with Green, who directed the first, in which he expressed some doubt whether he would continue, at least as a director. He cited his busy schedule, which includes not just reviving horror franchises but dramatically shifting gears for the delightful HBO comedy The Righteous Gemstones.
“My intention is just to start making things, and as those plans come together, if I find myself in that [The Exorcist: Deceiver] director’s chair, I’d be thrilled,” Green said. “But right now, I’m navigating it from a story perspective and looking at my realities of life as I pivot.”
Before reviving The Exorcist, Green — who let’s not forget started his career in indies and has often juxtaposed smaller fare with, say, stoner action comedies — had already had success doing the same for the Halloween films.