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SYFY WIRE The Exorcist

Blumhouse's 'The Exorcist' revival adds a pastor - not a priest, a pastor - to the cast list

With less than a year to go, The Exorcist is rounding out its cast.

By Matthew Jackson
Raphael Sbarge

We're now just eight short months away from a new Exorcist feature film for the first time in nearly 20 years. Blumhouse and director David Gordon Green, fresh off the conclusion of his Halloween trilogy, are rounding out what's set to be a major legacy sequel to the original 1973 horror classic, and they just added another familiar face to the cast.

RELATED: David Gordon Green teases 'dead serious' and 'psychological' new 'Exorcist' horror trilogy

Deadline first reported this week, and SYFY WIRE has confirmed, that Raphael Sbarge, perhaps best known to genre fans for his role as Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper on Once Upon a Time, has joined the upcoming film in a supporting role, playing a pastor. It's interesting to note here that "pastor" is different from priest -- traditionally the people doing the exorcising in these films -- but according to Blumhouse, that's the correct term for Sbarge's role. We'll be curious to see how he factors into the final story, which picks up on the world of the original film five decades after its release. We're assuming he'll need the help of a priest, maybe a spiritual team-up brewing?

Sbarge is the latest name in a series of casting announcements coming out of the film over the past, including news that Nightbooks' Lidya Jewett and newcomer Olivia Marcum have joined the film. Those actors join a cast that already includes Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., The Handmaid's Tale and The Leftovers standout Ann Dowd, and screen legend Ellen Burstyn, who reprises her role as Chris MacNeil for the first time in decades. 

As with his Halloween films, Green's Exorcist (which is still officially untitled as of this writing) will take an approach that basically ignores all previous sequels, and follows a new family as they navigate the horrors of a possession case. In a search for answers, a desperate father (Odom Jr.) will turn to Chris MacNeil, whose daughter Regan survived a possession of her own, for help, setting the stage for a journey into the Exorcist legacy. Like the 2018 Halloween film, the new film is the first in a planned trilogy, but unlike that film, we're looking at something played "dead serious."

"I don’t even necessarily categorize it as a horror film, although it’s very horror appealing, it’s psychological and dramatic," Green said last year. "It doesn’t have the fun tension-breakers that Halloween would have, because you can’t lean into any of the more campy qualities that I think we enjoy from time to time in the Halloween movies. It’s dead serious and pretty straightforward, and I don’t know, I’m excited about it."

The new Exorcist film is due in theaters on the very appropriate date of Oct. 13, 2023, so mark your calendars.

Looking for some more religious-tinged horror in the meantime? Check out Season 2 of SYFY's Chucky.