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Mike Flanagan to Direct New Movie

Mike Flanagan to Direct New Movie

The Exorcist franchise is getting a makeover following the polarizing response to last year’s The Exorcist: Believer.

Horror maestro Mike Flanagan will write, direct and produce what Blumhouse is describing as a “radical new take” on the franchise, one that will be set in the Exorcist universe but will not be a sequel to Believer.

Flanagan’s Exorcist hiring is a notable change in direction that comes nearly three years after Universal announced a $400 million megadeal that would allow it to make a trilogy of Exorcist films to be helmed by David Gordon Green, the filmmaker behind Universal and Blumhouse’s hit Halloween movies. Those plans were put on the shelf after Green’s Believer earned negative reviews and brought in $137 million at the box office.

Flanagan is a prolific and respected hand in the horror world, known for directing Stephen King adaptations such as Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s Game and creating TV shows such as Midnight Mass, The Haunting of Hill House and The Fall of the House of Usher. His involvement in Exorcist has been rumored for weeks after The Insneider newsletter reported he was eyed for the job.

The Exorcist is one of the reasons I became a filmmaker, and it is an honor to have the chance to try something fresh, bold and terrifying within its universe. Reuniting with my friends at Blumhouse, with whom I’ve made some of my favorite pieces of work, only makes this more exciting,” said Flanagan, who previously worked with the company as a writer and director on Oculus (2013), Hush (2016) and Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016).

Producers on Flanagan’s new Exorcist movie include Trevor Macy on behalf of Intrepid Pictures and Flanagan via his new Red Room Pictures banner. Intrepid’s John Scherer is also in the mix on the film.

“Mike’s voice and vision are indispensable for horror fans, and we are excited to welcome him back to Blumhouse. I immediately responded to Mike’s new take on the world of The Exorcist and can’t wait for audiences to experience it,” said Jason Blum, founder and CEO of Blumhouse.

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Added David Robinson, chairman and CEO of Morgan Creek, which has the rights to The Exorcist: “It’s an honor to be working with Mike. I think his vision for this franchise is going to stun audiences worldwide, and I could not be more excited to be working with him, Trevor, Jason and the entire Blumhouse Team.”

Flanagan’s hiring closes the door on the planned sequels to Believer, which brought back Ellen Burstyn, who starred in the original 1973 film that is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time. It earned 10 Oscar nominations, including for best picture.

Flanagan, Macy, Intrepid and Red Room are repped by WME, with VanderKloot Law also repping Flanagan and Reder & Feig handling Macy.

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