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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Believer Producer Explains the Reason Behind the Franchise’s Narrative Reset


  • The Exorcist: Believer is a bold and fresh installment in the franchise, with a new narrative trajectory and a dedication to honoring the original film.
  • The movie skillfully distances itself from previous sequels and adaptations, retconning the previous Exorcist TV show and setting a clean slate for the upcoming film.
  • The team behind The Exorcist: Believer is committed to maintaining narrative integrity while offering innovative storytelling.

A familiar demon rears its head yet again in The Exorcist: Believer. As the industry navigates the resurgence of timeless classics, this upcoming installment in the illustrious Exorcist franchise is making bold moves. The paths taken by earlier sequels and adaptations are set to face a sweeping retcon, as divulged by the movie’s executive producer Ryan Turek. Charting its course 50 years after the original horrifying tale, The Exorcist: Believer joins two families ensnared in a nightmarish grasp of possession. Desperate to reclaim their daughters from this sinister clutch, they seek aid from the seasoned Chris MacNeil, brought to life again by Ellen Burstyn.

At the helm of this anticipated project stands David Gordon Green, celebrated for his recent work on the Halloween trilogy, ensuring a fresh and invigorating take on the tale. The movie’s ensemble cast further boasts names such as Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, and Jennifer Nettles, promising an engrossing experience for viewers.

In an intriguing chat with Inverse, Turek unraveled the intricate connections of The Exorcist: Believer to the broader Exorcist saga. While the movie basks in ambiguity with its ties to the franchise’s previous endeavors, Turek and the team have unanimously embraced it as a direct heir to William Friedkin’s groundbreaking original. Despite living in what Turek describes as a “post-Scream 5 world,” the producers and creators express their commitment to a revitalized and unique narrative, while Green’s playful approach keeps fans guessing about its connections to the preceding films.

“The agreement we all had was this is a direct sequel to William Friedkin’s original film. But obviously, we’re living in a post-Scream 5 world and talking about requels and stuff like that. So is it a requel? Sure you can call it that because it’s both a sequel and kind of a reinvigoration of the franchise.

Is it directly connected to Exorcist II? Exorcist III? The prequels? In my heart, I don’t connect Believer to those. However, I’m sure if you spoke to David Gordon Green, he’d say that The Exorcist II was a very interesting movie and you never know whether it was connected or not because he’s playful like that. But no, I feel this very much sits as a companion piece to William Friedkin’s film.”

In a world of requels and reboots, the team’s endeavor to chart a distinctive narrative trajectory is evident. Turek’s discussion highlights the desire to distance Believer from its predecessors, albeit with a light-hearted acknowledgment of their existence. The audience eagerly anticipates the re-emergence of the chilling tale as the film skillfully honors its roots while blazing a fresh trail.

RELATED: The Exorcist: Believer Director Is Eager to Explore New Horizons if Film is a Hit

The Exorcist: Believer Resets the Board & Paves a New Path Forward

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This fresh installment hasn’t shied away from taking decisive strides in its narrative journey. The previously aired Exorcist TV show has been decisively retconned, paving a clean slate for The Exorcist: Believer. The show, which aired for two seasons on Fox, initially presented itself as a continuation of the original movies, casting Geena Davis in the iconic role of Regan MacNeil. Ellen Burstyn’s comeback in the forthcoming film unmistakably signals the sidelining of the show from the fresh narrative path.

The decision to retcon extends beyond mere creative exploration. It reflects a concerted effort to present a streamlined and cohesive narrative, unburdened by the varied directions taken by earlier sequels and adaptations. As the industry witnesses a flurry of revisited classics, the challenge to maintain narrative integrity while offering innovative storytelling remains paramount.

The Exorcist: Believer confronts this challenge, armed with a stellar cast, a dedicated creative team, and a clear vision for its place within the renowned franchise. Anticipation builds among fans ready to re-enter the chilling story as the film carefully juggles paying tribute to its roots and charting a fresh course.

Despite the sweeping changes, the enthusiasm for the film’s direction remains palpable. Reflecting on the acclaimed reception of 2018’s Halloween, the hope for a similarly warm embrace for The Exorcist: Believer holds strong. The film’s audacious strides assure a riveting comeback to a cherished horror story, alongside a novel and imaginative journey into the enduring battle against hidden sinister forces.

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