May 24, 2024

The first trailer for “The Exorcist: Believer” has been released by Universal Pictures, bringing with it a double helping of evil. The new film in the supernatural horror series, which follows directly on from “The Exorcist” (1973), opens with the mysterious disappearance of two young women in the woods.

The disappearance of Angela (Lidya Jewett) and her companion Katherine (Olivia Marcum) has caused alarm among their parents. After three days, they come back, and it seems like they’ve been possessed by demons. Angela’s father Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr.), desperate to regain custody of his daughter, seeks the help of exorcist Chris MacNeil, who saw possession firsthand when her daughter Regan fell victim to it many years earlier.

After losing his pregnant wife in the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti twelve years ago, Victor Fielding has been raising their daughter, Angela, on his own. But when Angela and her friend Katherine vanish into the woods and then reappear three days later with no recollection of their disappearance, it sets in motion a chain of events that will force Victor to face the depths of evil and, in his terror and desperation, seek out the only person alive who has witnessed anything like it before: Chris MacNeil.

Ellen Burstyn reprises her role as MacNeil, an actress whose life was irrevocably changed by the tragic events that befell her daughter Regan (Linda Blair) half a century ago. She played the role in the first movie (from 1973) but not in the sequel (“Exorcist II: The Heretic”) or any other installment in the franchise until today.

The next “Exorcist” film is directed by David Gordon Green, who also helmed the most current “Halloween” trilogy. The premise of the film is that one day, two little girls fail to return home from school. He tells Entertainment Weekly, “When they come back, they’re in a different mental state and exhibiting some unusual qualities. As we find out, “we come to learn that they are in a synchronized possession.”

Green says that Odom Jr.’s character “puts all of his energy and love into his daughter, then as a single father [he is] faced with this issue and [does not have] a strong spiritual community or connection to his physical community.”

According to Green, MacNeil “ended up becoming fascinated by exorcism and studying the rites and rituals of possession throughout culture” after the events of the first film. To put it mildly, [she] learned a lot. She is not an exorcist, yet her books have become bestsellers.

Although Green does not confirm Blair’s participation in “The Exorcist: Believer” or any sequels, he does claim that the film “alludes to her character in a number of ways.” He also claims that the actress has contributed to the future film in some capacity.

Green explains that the team “lucked out” by having Linda on board as a technical advisor. When working with young actresses, she was instrumental in coaxing out stellar performances. Having a connection with her and being able to include her in this discussion was quite helpful.

The authors of “The Exorcist: Believer” are Green and Peter Sattler. Ann Dowd co-stars with Jennifer Nettles and Norbert Leo Butz as Katherine’s parents. Blumhouse and Morgan Creek co-produced and Universal rolled out the film.

On October 13th, “The Exorcist: Believer” will be shown in theaters. The “Exorcist” franchise will continue with three more films, of which this is the first. Universal Pictures has set the release date of the sequel picture “The Exorcist: Deceiver” for April 18, 2025.

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