Geena Davis Joins 'The Exorcist' TV Show, But Is This New Fox Series A Remake?
Television's love affair with the horror genre continues. Ever since Ryan Murphy kickstarted our current obsession with all things scary in in 2011 with his FX anthology series American Horror Story, the small screen has seen an explosion of thrillers and chillers, from Hannibal to Penny Dreadful, from Scream to Scream Queens, from Bates Motel to the brand new Damien . Now the granddaddy of all horror movies is joining those titles on your TV screen, with an Oscar-winning star attached: according to Deadline, Geena Davis has joined FOX's The Exorcist series. But is this new adaptation of William Friedkin's horror classic a remake, sequel, prequel, reboot, or what?
Not exactly. Deadline's report of Davis' casting indicates that the pilot, penned by feature writer Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) "is a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men — Father Tomas Ortega and Father Marcus Lang — tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession and confronting the face of true evil." That does sound an awful lot like the plot of the 1973 demonic possession film. However, in that movie, the two priests were named Father Merrin and former Father Karras.
Additionally, Deadline reports that Davis' character, Angela Rance (not Chris MacNeil as in the film), "does everything she can to stay positive and keep her faith even though her family is currently struggling. She can’t help but think, however, if perhaps her nightmares about a demon are a sign of what’s wrong." The mention of a "family" rather than a "daughter" certainly suggests that Pazuzu's possession will be more far-reaching than it was in the film, with several people affected rather than just one head-spinning, projectile-vomiting little girl.
The article clarifies that this version of The Exorcist will be a "modern reinvention of the book" (published in 1971 by William Peter Blatty) rather than a remake of the film. That seems to put it more in line with A&E's horror offerings, modern Psycho prequel Bates Motel and modern The Omen sequel Damien , rather than a beat-by-beat book-to-screen adaptation like Game Of Thrones (or its early seasons, anyway).
Davis won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1988's The Accidental Tourist, and her other famous film roles include Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, and A League Of Their Own; she's also hot off a recurring role on Season 11 of Grey's Anatomy as the irascible Dr. Herman. She will be stepping into the role of concerned/terrified matriarch originated in the '73 film by Ellen Burstyn in an Oscar-nominated performance. (Meanwhile, Burstyn herself has also transitioned to the small screen, currently starring in Season 4 of Netflix's House Of Cards .)
Also starring on The Exorcist will be Ben Daniels (aka House Of Cards' Adam Galloway) and Alfonso Herrera (aka Sense8's Hernando) as Fathers Lang and Ortega, respectively. So far, the show has only a pilot order from the network… but if all goes well, The Exorcist should be turning heads on FOX this upcoming fall. (See what I did there?)
Images: Giphy; ABC