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SYFY WIRE The Exorcist

Will The Exorcist: Believer Wipe The Continuity Clean? Director David Gordon Green Sounds Off

The Exorcist: Believer hits the big screen Friday, Oct. 13.

By Josh Weiss
A collage featuring still images from (center; clockwise from center) The Exorcist: Believer (2023); Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977); Exorcist: The Beginning (2004); The Exorcist III (1990); Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)

When David Gordon Green's The Exorcist: Believer hits theaters everywhere this October, it will do so just in time for the 50th anniversary of the 1973 original that changed the horror game forever.

The big question is whether the new installment will acknowledge the sequels that followed the original, as well as the short-lived television series on Fox. If Believer is anything like Green's recent Halloween trilogy — and all signs seem to be pointing in that direction — it might just wipe the continuity slate clean, ignoring everything except the first movie. Much neater than trying to juggle it all for newcomers.

RELATED: Our Biggest Questions Digging Into The Horror Lore Revealed in First The Exorcist: Believer Trailer

"To be honest, I'm not avoiding any of them, but I don't know them very well," the filmmaker told Entertainment Weekly while breaking down the first Believer trailer. "I've seen all of them. I've seen Exorcist III more than any of them. I know that one very well. Say what you will about Exorcist II, but it ain't shy. It is a fearless epic of ideas, but [we're] not necessarily following a character from Exorcist: The Beginning. We're not looking into that. It's not that type of a franchise that needs to check boxes, but I've got two more movies, so maybe I'll find some threads to unravel from one of those."

While the recent Halloween movies threw out the convoluted timeline established by the property's many sequels, it did tip its hat to them in clever ways. Allyson (Andi Matichak), for instance, ridicules the whole "Laurie Strode and Michael Myers are siblings" revelation from Halloween II, while the three Silver Shamrock masks from Season of the Witch show up as Easter eggs on Halloween night. We wouldn't be surprised if Green opts for a similar approach here.

Featuring the return of Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil, Believer also stars Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) Jennifer Nettles (The Righteous Gemstones), and Norbert Leo Butz (Fosse/Verdon, Bloodline).

The Exorcist: Believer hits the big screen Friday, Oct. 13 by way of Universal and Blumhouse. A sequel (after all, this is the start of a new trilogy) — officially titled The Exorcist: Deceiver — is tentatively slated to open on April 18, 2025, Variety confirms.

Want more demonic thrills in the meantime? The Exorcist III and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist are now streaming on Peacock!