FOX’s upcoming television series, The Exorcist, will tie into the original film that started it all according to the series producers. According to Director and Executive Producer Rupert Wyatt, the series is set 40 years after the events of the first film in Chicago, Illinois. This contrasts the direction that many current television shows are taking. Shows like 12 Monkeys and Lethal Weapon are completely rebooting their franchises, while The Exorcist will continue the universe previously established.
According to Wyatt, the pilot mentions the priests from the first film, and even uses the Mike Oldfield composition, Tubular Bells. Wyatt told Variety:
“We never set out to use it… [but we] tried it at the end of the [pilot] cut, and we realized that it worked. If you can earn something through the story then it should go in. It was always our intent not to just plaster it on for the sake of homage.”
Executive Producer Jeremy Slater also says that it was important for the new television series to continue the realistic atmosphere of the first film and to keep up its grounded tone. He says: “it was important to let everyone know that this is a continuation of an existing story”, and stresses that they are keeping Friedkin’s agnostic approach to the source material.
Geena Davis, the series’ star, says that she is happy that the cast and crew are predominately women. She says that the female characters are given story arcs that dominate the story.
Check out the trailer screened at the San Diego Comic-Con this year below:
Here is the official synopsis of the show:
THE EXORCIST is a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. FATHER TOMAS ORTEGA (Alfonso Herrera, Sense8, The Chosen) is the new face of the Catholic Church: progressive, ambitious and compassionate. He runs a small but loyal parish in the suburbs of Chicago. He has no idea that his quiet life is about to change forever. Meanwhile, and on the other side of the world, another priest finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. FATHER MARCUS BRENNAN (Ben Daniels, Flesh and Bone, House of Cards) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies.
Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not: relentless, abrasive and utterly consumed by his sacred mission. Caught in the middle is the RANCE family, members of Tomas’ parish. On the surface, they’re a normal, suburban family, but all is not as it seems in this household. The patriarch, HENRY RANCE (guest star Alan Ruck, Spin City, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), is slowly but surely losing his mind. Eldest daughter KATHERINE (Brianne Howey, SCREAM QUEENS) has become a recluse who refuses to leave her room.
Her younger sister, CASEY (Hannah Kasulka, The Fosters), thinks she’s hearing strange noises coming from inside the walls. And mother ANGELA (Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis, Commander in Chief, Thelma & Louise) has been plagued by recurring nightmares, each more frightening than the last. Angela believes there is something in the house, a demonic presence, growing stronger by the day. Desperate, she begs Father Tomas for help, unwittingly setting the naïve young priest on a collision course with Father Marcus. Separately, each faces an insurmountable task, but together they become the only hope against an evil force that has been mobilizing for centuries.
The Exorcist premieres September 23.
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