The Exorcist is back with new horror trilogy starring Ellen Burstyn

Universal is reportedly spending $400 million-plus to bring back the scary classic.

Meara Isenberg Associate Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
2 min read

Ellen Burstyn saw some unpleasant things in 1973 horror movie The Exorcist. 

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Well, this is head-spinning news. Universal Pictures and streaming service Peacock are bringing back horror classic The Exorcist with a new trilogy of movies, and Ellen Burstyn will reprise her role as Chris MacNeil, mom of a possessed child.  

It's unclear whether Linda Blair, who played that poor kid, will also appear in the films. 

"To all my fans asking about my involvement in the new Exorcist reboot, as of now there has not been any discussions about me participating or reprising my role," Blair tweeted Monday

According to NBCUniversal, which owns Peacock, the first film will be directed by David Gordon Green, who's also the director of the three recent Universal installments of the Halloween horror franchise, the first of which premiered in 2018. Blumhouse Productions CEO Jason Blum and David Robinson are among the producers, and Blumhouse film executive Couper Samuelson is among the executive producers. 

The megadeal comes with a price tag of more than $400 million, according to The New York Times

The Exorcist, released in 1973, centers on12-year-old Regan MacNeil, who's possessed by a mysterious entity that causes her to contort her body and speak in a creepy, demonic voice. Her mother, Chris, enlists the help of priests to save her. The film has grossed over $441 million to date, making it the highest domestic-grossing horror film for 44 years running. 

The new trilogy's first film is expected to land in theaters in October 2023, and the second and third films could first appear on Peacock

Burstyn, who didn't appear in either of the two sequels or the prequel to the original Exorcist, will be accompanied by Leslie Odom Jr., known for his role in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Odom will play the father of a possessed child who tracks Burstyn's character down for help. The new films won't be remakes.