I was so excited last week when news broke that Sean Durkin had been tapped to adapt William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist into a 10 episode TV miniseries.
Turns out this was news to William Peter Blatty. According to Bleeding Cool, Blatty owns the rights to The Exorcist. Morgan Creek, the alleged production company, does not.
What does come out is perhaps a source for the rumor at all. Back in 2009, William Peter Blatty and The Exorcistfilm director William Friedkin began collaborating on a miniseries adaptation of the story. Blatty says he has a completed script but the project isn’t really in motion. Could a TV studio have contacted Blatty or Friedkin about the miniseries and then started seeing what their options were? Or is this simply a case of a fake story being thrown into the void to see what will stick?
And what about people like me who jumped at the story with open arms? Is there really a wide and enthusiastic audience for a new look at The Exorcist?
I know there’s a stageplay about to go off in LA with Brooke Shields and Richard Chamberlain as Chris MacNeil and Father Merrin. I also know that the original announcement of that play was followed by hundreds of theater fans rolling their eyes and going to Twitter to make pea soup projectile seats jokes.
Yet, that project has also amassed a large and impressive collection of artistic collaborators inspired by The Exorcist. Per Shock Till You Drop, Teller of comedy magic duo Penn & Teller (not to mention the man behind the mind blowing ghostly illusions in Play Dead) is acting as a creative consultant. John Doyle, Tony-winner for the recent Sweeney Todd revival, will direct.
So is the draw of The Exorcist the property itself or the man who created it? I’m curious to see how Blatty would approach the screenplay for a miniseries since he shifted so much focus onto Chris MacNeil and Father Karras’ angst to build up their dueling crises onscreen. Would he settle back into the rhtyhm of the novel and let other characters shine?
What do you think? Would you rather Sean Durkin’s take or Blatty’s? What about the story breaking at all? Sound off below. Love to hear from you.