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How Halloween's Success Inspired Its Filmmakers to Take on The Exorcist: Believer

"There was the most to win and the most to lose" when resurrecting The Exorcist.


The dynamic duo of producer Jason Blum and director David Gordon Green has been associated with thrilling horror reboots ever since they brought us the Halloween trilogy, in which our favorite masked killer goes on a terrifying rampage (Jason Voornees comes in a close second). But the idea of resurrecting The Exorcist, the most influential horror film ever made, struck the, uh, fear of God into them.

After all, the original was a ‘70s phenomenon that made moviegoers faint, vomit, and cry when released 50 years ago, not to mention the many prequels and sequels through the years that landed with varying returns. The pressure of the 50th Anniversary milestone added an extra layer of fright — even for such a powerhouse twosome as Green and Blum.

Jason Blum and David Gordon Green talk The Exorcist: Believer

“The Exorcist is the most iconic horror movie of all time, so it’s the biggest challenge. There was the most to win and the most to lose by doing it,” Blum recently told SYFY WIRE.

RELATED: Everything to Know About The Exorcist: Believer

No stranger to horror sequels, Blum’s production company, Blumhouse Productions, has blazed a terrifying trail through Hollywood, producing $5 billion worth of movies and TV shows. Green’s career has also been textured and wonderfully strange, but in a different way — directing award-winning indie dramas and stoner comedies like George Washington and Pineapple Express, respectively. But it was the success of the Halloween trilogy that gave them the chutzpah to go for The Exorcist: Believer.

“We got the confidence in taking a beloved horror IP and reinventing it by doing Halloween together. I’ve been trying to get the rights for a long time, and I think the reason I got the rights and the reason we’re doing it now was because of the success we had together with Halloween,” said Blum.

How Jason Blum and David Gordon Green went from slasher to possession with The Exorcist: Believer

Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom, Jr.) watches as Angela Fielding (Lidya Jewett) wrestles with hospital attendants.

Going from “slasher to possession” is not so easy. “They are very different subgenres of horror… Halloween is much more ‘watch out you’re going to get stabbed,’ and this is more psychological,” said Green. Despite this, the producer and director team took a similar approach to both movies from the outset, which just might be the secret sauce of their collaboration, and that was to honor who came before them.

RELATED: How Exactly Did Linda Blair Contribute To The Exorcist: Believer As Technical Advisor?

“The most important lesson we learned — which Hollywood often doesn’t do — is to get in touch with the people who made the first one. And we did that with Halloween, with John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis, and we did it with this,” said Blum, who noted that Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair were deeply involved. “Not even to say, do you want to do it again or not do it again, but just to talk to them so they feel included in the process.”

A half-century after the original Exorcist was unleashed on the public, Green and Blum will soon take us through a new gauntlet of fear, just like they did with Halloween. Perhaps we should give Michael Myers a big pat on the back for laying the groundwork.

The Exorcist: Believer hits theaters nationwide on Friday, October 6. Get tickets now at Fandango.