The Exorcist is a 1971 novel by American writer William Peter Blatty. The book details the demonic possession of twelve-year-old Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a famous actress, and the two priests who attempt to exorcise the demon. It was published by Harper & Row.
The novel was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University. As a result, the novel takes place in Washington D.C. near the campus of Georgetown University. In September 2011, the novel was reprinted by Harper Collins to celebrate its fortieth anniversary, with slight revisions made by Blatty as well as interior title artwork by Jeremy Caniglia.
Legion is the 1983 follow-up to the Exorcist novel. It was made into the movie The Exorcist III in 1990. Like The Exorcist, it involves demonic possession. The book was the focus of a court case over its exclusion from The New York Times Best Seller list.
Blatty based aspects of the Gemini Killer on the real-life Zodiac Killer, who, in a January 1974 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, had praised the original Exorcist film as "the best satirical comedy that I have ever seen".
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name, and starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller. The film is part of The Exorcist franchise.The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother's attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaptation is relatively faithful to the book, which itself has been commercially successful (hitting the New York Times bestseller list).
John Boorman's Exorcist II: The Heretic was released in 1977, and revisited Regan four years after her initial ordeal. The plot dealt with an investigation into the legitimacy of Merrin's exorcism of Regan in the first film. In flashback sequences, we see Regan giving Merrin his fatal heart attack, as well as scenes from the exorcism of a young boy named Kokumo in Africa many years earlier.
The Exorcist III appeared in 1990, written and directed by Blatty himself from his own 1983 novel Legion. Jumping past the events of Exorcist II, this book and film presented a continuation of Karras' story. Following the precedent set in The Ninth Configuration, Blatty turned a supporting character from the first film—in this case, Kinderman—into the chief protagonist. Though the characters of Karras and Kinderman were acquainted during the murder investigation in The Exorcist and Kinderman expressed fondness for Karras, in Exorcist III Blatty has Kinderman remembering Karras as his "best friend". Jason Miller reprised his Academy Award-nominated role in The Exorcist for this film.
Because of the studio's dissatisfaction with Schrader's version of the prequel (see "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist"), Renny Harlin was then hired as director to retool the movie. Harlin reused some of Schrader's footage but shot mostly new material to create a more conventional horror film. Harlin's new version Exorcist: The Beginning was released, but was not well received.
A prequel film attracted attention and controversy even before its release in 2004; it went through a number of directorial and script changes, such that two versions were ultimately released. John Frankenheimer was originally hired as director for the project, but withdrew before filming started due to health concerns. He died a month later. Paul Schrader replaced him. Upon completion the studio rejected Schrader's version as being too slow, and hired another director to retool the movie. Nine months after the release of the retooled movie (see "Exorcist: The Beginning") Schrader's original version, retitled Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, was given a small theatrical release.
Blatty directed The Ninth Configuration, a post-Vietnam War drama set in a mental institution. Released in 1980, it was based on Blatty's novel of the same name. Though it contrasts sharply with the tone of The Exorcist, Blatty regards Configuration as its true sequel. The lead character is the astronaut from Chris' party, Lt. Cutshaw.
A made-for-television film, Possessed (based on the book of the same name by Thomas B. Allen), was broadcast on Showtime on October 22, 2000, directed by Steven E. de Souza and written by de Souza and Michael Lazarou. The film claimed to follow the true accounts that inspired Blatty to write The Exorcist and starred Timothy Dalton, Henry Czerny, and Christopher Plummer.
On January 22, 2016, 20th Century Fox Television announced they were developing a television series of The Exorcist. It premiered on September 23, 2016.
In February 2008, American playwright John Pielmeier expressed an interest in adapting William Peter Blatty's novel of the same name into a play and soon met with Blatty. He then began working on a script for the play, in which the first draft was completed in ten days. The Exorcist first premiered at the Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles in 2012.
In November 2009, it was announced that Blatty planned to direct a mini-series of The Exorcist.
In September 2015, Morgan Creek Productions announced it was selling its library of films, while retaining remake and sequel rights to key properties, including The Exorcist. Rumors began circulating that the original film would be remade, which was denied by Morgan Creek.