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SYFY WIRE The Exorcist

Is Linda Blair in Blumhouse's new 'Exorcist' sequel? It's complicated, but here's what we know

The original Exorcist star might be returning, or she might just be involved in some other way.

By Matthew Jackson
Linda Blair in The Exorcist

Is the iconic star of the original Exorcist film making an unexpected return to the horror franchise after nearly 50 years? The short answer is: Maybe!

Above the Line reported this week that Linda Blair, who starred as Regan MacNeil in the 1973 horror classic directed by William Friedkin, is set to "reprise her role" for the upcoming legacy sequel directed by Halloween Ends' David Gordon Green. Produced by Blumhouse and co-starring original Exorcist star Ellen Burstyn, the new film is set decades after the original possession story, and follows a new family who turns to Chris MacNeil (Burstyn) for help when one of their own is possessed. 

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We've known about Burstyn's involvement in the project, set to hit theaters late this year, for quite some time, but this is the first we're hearing about Blair's possible reappearance. The actor hasn't appeared in the franchise, aside from interviews and documentary appearances, since Exorcist II: The Heretic in 1977, and that didn't seem set to change even as work on Green's new sequel started to ramp up. 

But is this report true? Blumhouse told Above the Line that Blair is involved with the film, but only confirmed that she's "an advisor" and did not address the report of an onscreen appearance. SYFY WIRE has reached out to Blumhouse for further comment, and will update this story if we hear more, but for the moment it seems that the production company is either trying to keep a surprise reveal under wraps, or just honestly downplaying any reports that Blair is going to make an appearance that ultimately never comes. 

Even if Blair doesn't show up in the film, though, there's plenty of reasons to be excited about this new Exorcist story. Like 2018's Halloween (also directed by Green), it's set up as the first film in a new trilogy of stories set in the world of the original films, and will be the first new Exorcist movie in nearly 20 years. Throw in Burstyn's return and the promise of lots of connections to the original story, and we can't say no.

Blumhouse's new Exorcist film is set to hit theaters Oct. 13.