The Big Picture
- David Gordon Green is taking on the challenge of putting a modern spin on the beloved story of The Exorcist in his upcoming film, The Exorcist: Believer.
- Green has decided to introduce a new demon in the film instead of sticking with the iconic Pazuzu from the original.
- By changing the demon, Green and his team were able to break free from the constraints of previous iterations of the franchise.
Cutting a new edge on a fan-favorite story is what it’s all about for David Gordon Green in his upcoming film, The Exorcist: Believer. Putting a spin on the classic and delivering it to a modern audience isn’t the easiest thing to do, but Green was more than up for the challenge. Featuring a (mostly) new set of faces, the filmmaker knew that he wanted to shake things up for the demon as well. In an interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Green explained how he decided on the feature’s new baddie while still paying homage to past foes.
“For the specific demon, which I still haven’t said out loud, we studied Pazuzu from the original film and the relationships within demonology to other friends and family of Pazuzu, and how that might apply to our story,” Green explains. “That was actually one of the very first things that got us rolling, is thinking of what we’re responding to and what is this demon after? What is it seeking?”
The shift from Pazuzu to a new demon will mark perhaps the biggest change from the five other films that currently make up the franchise. In one way or another, the demon that was first introduced in William Friedkin’s 1973 cinematic masterpiece, The Exorcist, has been involved in all the other titles. While it’s likely viewers will hear about Pazuzu in Believer, Green is ready to deviate from the franchise’s ghoul.
A Demonic Makeover
On top of the name, the images of Pazuzu and the pain it inflicted on its victims are also synonymous with the films before Believer. By changing the demon, Green also allowed the creative team to not be caged in by any previous iterations. Giving credit to those who molded the new demon and the eerie horror that comes with it, Green said, “We got Christopher Nelson, his incredible makeup team, to do these creations that are very subtly dropped in there, but again, effective when you get those glimpses. It’s kind of unnerving.”
No stranger to revamping a classic horror tale for a new crowd, Green is the man behind the latest batch of Halloween movies, having helmed 2018’s Halloween, 2021’s Halloween Kills, and 2022’s Halloween Ends. When it comes to knowing what to cut and what to add, Green has plenty of experience with both even if his final chapter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ appearance as Laurie Strode was a divisive one.
As for The Exorcist: Believer, audiences can catch the film just in time for the spooky season when it haunts theaters on October 6.