In an exciting update for fans of horror classic The Exorcist, Linda Blair is set to reprise her role as Regan MacNeil in director David Gordon Green’s upcoming sequel. The film is part of a new trilogy of sequels being developed by Blumhouse Productions and Morgan Creek Entertainment, with Universal and Peacock securing distribution rights for a reported $400 million.
Ellen Burstyn, who played Regan’s mother Chris MacNeil in the original 1973 film, was already confirmed to return for the new trilogy. However, it was unclear whether Blair would join the cast. In response to the initial announcement, she stated that she had not been contacted but wished the production team well. Now, it seems that Green did indeed reach out to Blair, with sources suggesting that she filmed for just a few days. Although her role may be brief, her return to the franchise is sure to delight fans.
This new sequel stars Leslie Odom Jr. as a character who seeks out Chris MacNeil after his own child becomes possessed. In addition to Burstyn and Blair, the cast includes Lidya Jewett, Jennifer Nettles, Ann Dowd, Okwui Okpokwasili, Raphael Sbarge, and newcomer Olivia Marcum in unspecified roles. Green collaborated with Peter Sattler to craft the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Danny McBride and Scott Teems, who also co-wrote the recent Halloween trilogy with Green.
Blair’s return may be a sign of things to come, as the new trilogy is set to unfold over three films. Green’s previous work on the Halloween franchise saw him bring back numerous cast members and characters from the original series, so it’s possible that Blair could have an expanded role in the sequels to come.
Fans won’t have to wait long to see Blair and Burstyn on screen together again. The Exorcist is slated for release on October 13th, just in time for Halloween.
Some Horror Facts about The Exorcist and Linda Blair
In 1973, Linda Blair was only 14 years old when she starred in the controversial horror film “The Exorcist.” While the movie was a huge success and earned Blair a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, it also had devastating consequences for her. On set, Blair experienced physical and emotional trauma, including sustaining a fractured spine during a possession scene and enduring sub-zero temperatures while wearing nothing but a nightgown for most of the film. Director William Friedkin’s unorthodox methods, such as firing guns and physically assaulting actors, added to the hostile work environment.
After the film’s release, Blair faced further harassment and backlash. Reporters speculated about her mental health, leading to baseless claims that she suffered a mental breakdown due to filming the graphic and unsettling scenes. Christian evangelist Billy Graham criticized the film for its supposed demonic influence, and Blair received death threats and hate mail from zealots. Additionally, Blair struggled to escape the shadow of her role as Regan and was frequently typecast as a victim in subsequent roles.
Despite these challenges, Blair persevered and eventually shifted her focus to animal rights activism, founding the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation. However, in 2021, she revealed on Twitter that she was not offered a role in the upcoming “Exorcist” reboots, surprising fans who considered her an iconic “scream queen.”
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