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SYFY WIRE The Exorcist

Blumhouse's 'The Exorcist' revival scares up newcomer Olivia Marcum to join legacy horror cast

Let the demonic festivities begin!

By Josh Weiss
Linda Blair in The Exorcist

The demonic proceedings of David Gordon Green's soft reboot of The Exorcist just got a little bigger. Deadline confirmed today that the upcoming revamp of the classic horror franchise (co-produced by Universal Pictures and Blumhouse) has officially added relative newcomer Olivia Marcum to its cast in a currently unspecified role.

Marcum — whose only other screen credit is a minor part in Matilda the Musical — joins Ellen Burstyn, Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, and Lidya Jewett. Burstyn in particular will reprise the character of Chris MacNeil, distraught mother of the possessed little girl in the 1973 original, which is currently the fifth highest-grossing horror release in box office history.

The first entry in a planned trilogy of new Exorcist films is currently in the latter stages of production and scheduled to hit theaters everywhere this October. Green, who helped breathe new life into the Halloween series, co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Sattler (Broken Diamonds). The director conceived of the screen story alongside usual collaborators, Danny McBride and Scott Teems.

"It's completely different than Halloween," cinematographer Michael Simmonds exclusively teased during a Zoom interview with SYFY WIRE last month. "It's certainly more suspenseful and claustrophobic and true to the original material. A Halloween movie is going to inherently be like a soap opera [with] drama, moments of camp, and callbacks. Much of these Halloween movies are for the fans with references to random stuff from the last 30 years of these things. And [the new Exorcist] is not gonna be like that."

He later continued: "I'm trying to make shots that last longer. I'm trying to use zooms. I'm trying to add frames that are scary to look at. I'm trying to make the lighting effective and naturalistic," Simmonds concludes. "And I'm shooting spherical for the first time in a really long time. Because the original Exorcist was not anamorphic, it was spherical. So that's super fun. With the Halloween films, it’s always been anamorphic."

Jason Blum, David Robinson, and James Robinson are producing the film. Green is an executive producer with McBride and Couper Samuelson. The power of The Exorcist will compel us to see it when the film bows on the big screen Friday, Oct. 13.

Looking for more horror to make your spine tingle and blood curdle? You can currently catch Jordan Peele's NOPE on Peacock. Plus, don't miss SYFY's hit horror series Chucky, which was just picked up for a third season.