The David Gordon Green-directed Exorcist sequel The Exorcist: Believer finds Ellen Burstyn reprising the role of Chris MacNeil for the first time since she starred in William Friedkin’s original 1973 shocker.
“Her character ended up becoming fascinated by exorcism and studying the rites and rituals of possession throughout culture,” Green recently told EW, talking about of MacNeil’s life following the events depicted in Friedkin’s film. “[She] became a bit of an expert. Not an exorcist herself, but renowned for the books that she’s written.”
But what happened to MacNeil’s daughter, the possessed Regan, played by Linda Blair in both The Exorcist and 1977’s Exorcist II: The Heretic? When EW asked Green if Blair will appear in the new movie, the filmmaker sidestepped the question while revealing that the film “alludes to her character in a number of ways.”
Anne Marie Fox/Universal Pictures Ellen Burstyn and Leslie Odom Jr. in ‘The Exorcist: Believer’
But Regan is more than just alluded to in the movie’s just-released new trailer, which begins with a scene in which Chris confronts Olivia Marcum’s demonically-troubled child Katherine.
“Don’t be scared,” says Katherine.
“We’ve met before,” says Chris, presumably referring to the demon dwelling inside the young girl.
“Are you looking for Regan?” asks Katherine, now with a much deeper voice. “Are you looking for Regan? She burns in hell!“
Green’s film is the first in a planned three-movie continuation of the Exorcist franchise and focuses on the plight of Katherine and her friend Angela (Lidya Jewett).
“The concept of this movie is two young girls disappear after school one day. When they return, they are in a different mental state and exhibiting some peculiar attributes,” said Green, who directed the recent trilogy of Halloween films. “We come to learn that they are in a synchronized possession.”
Katherine’s parents are played by Jennifer Nettles and Norbert Leo Butz, while Angela’s widower father is portrayed by Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. Green described the Odom Jr.’s character as someone who “puts all of his energy and love into his daughter. Then [he is] faced as a single father with this issue and [does] not have a strong spiritual community or connection to his physical community.”
The Exorcist: Believer is written by Green and Peter Sattler, and also stars Ann Dowd. Watch the film’s new trailer above ahead of its Oct. 6 release date.
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