Fox orders pilot for TV reboot of The Exorcist

Contributed by
Jan 25, 2016, 12:15 PM EST

The Exorcist is being remade, and this time it's going to be aimed at TV.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has ordered a pilot for a one-hour dramatic series based on the all-time horror classic, with the project pitched not as an update of the 1973 movie directed by William Friedkin but a "reinvention" of the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty on which that film was based.

Jeremy Slater, who wrote last year's Fantastic Four movie, is penning the script for this one, which is being described as "a serialized psychological thriller following two men tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession, and confronting the face of true evil."

Apparently, this has been in the works since 2012, with different personnel involved along the way, but for some reason Fox has decided that now is the time to launch what I have to say seems like a horrifically bad idea.

Why is that? Well, for one thing, the original movie is a landmark. It's considered the greatest horror film ever made by many (including yours truly), remains one of the most frightening, and is full of genuinely disturbing and blasphemous imagery that any remake would toil in the shadow of. There are reasons why The Exorcist was rated R, and even in the more permissive TV culture of today, putting this story on broadcast television and keeping it intact will be problematic.

But also, how do you stretch Blatty's singular tale into a TV series? Does the exorcism itself -- which only takes up the last 20 minutes of the movie -- get expanded? Or do the doomed priests of the original story live on and battle a different demon every week?

Fox's TV version of Minority Report was botched last year, which makes this Exorcist series even more worrisome, not to mention that Slater wrote one of the worst movies of 2015 (although as with everything surrounding Fantastic Four, we don't know how much of his script survived all the meddling that helped sink that film). The original movie spawned four sequels, with only 1990's Exorcist III considered somewhat worthy, so producers have been trying to leech off this expand this into a franchise for decades.

And if The Exorcist gets beyond the pilot stage and actually becomes a series, could more shows based on classic horror films, like for instance The Omen, be next? Oh wait ...

What do you think of the idea of a TV series based on The Exorcist? Let the power of Christ compel you to leave your thoughts below.