The power of Christ compels you! Well, maybe not you, but it's certainly about to compel network executives. Then again, I suppose it would be more accurate to say the power of cash compels them.
Deadline is reporting that production company Morgan Creek (which owns the screen rights to the 'Exorcist' universe) is currently shopping around a drama series reinvention of everyone's favorite head twisting, projectile vomiting, faith shaking battle of good vs. evil. The project is said to be less of a remake of the classic film, and more of a re-adaptation of the William Peter Blatty novel.
'The Exorcist' was previously planned to be adapted into a ten-hour "event series" by 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' director Sean Durkin, but that idea apparently fell through. Attached to this new project are rookie screenwriter Jeremy Slater (who is penning the upcoming 'Fantastic Four' reboot), and Roy Lee (who served as an executive producer on the first season of A&E's 'Bates Motel'.) Lee in particular strikes me as a good choice, as the success of 'Bates' effectively proves he knows how to make a defunct horror franchise translate successfully to the small screen.
This year marks the 40th(!) anniversary of the original theatrical release of 'The Exorcist', and the film has lost absolutely none of its power in the decades since. As a big fan of the film (and its under-appreciated sequel The Exorcist III), I look at the prospect of a TV series with a mix of anticipation and worry. Could anyone possibly make a better Father Merrin than Max Von Sydow? Or a better Father Karras than Jason Miller? I have a hard time believing that could happen. Still, the success of 'Bates Motel' and 'Hannibal' demonstrates that it is very possible to bring a beloved horror property to television without compromising the material.
Will 2014 be an excellent year for an exorcism? Or will this series be yet another terrible attempt to cash in on Pazuzu's legacy? The last thing the world needs is another 'Exorcist: The Beginning.'