Universal and Peacock Close a $400M Deal to Expand ‘Exorcist’ Franchise

Ellen Burstyn will reprise the iconic role of a mother whose child was possessed by a demon.

Published Jul 27, 2021

Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn in the movie the Exorcist (12 Feb 1974 - eBay/Wikimedia Commons)
Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn in the movie the Exorcist (Image Via 12 Feb 1974 - eBay/Wikimedia Commons)

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, has reportedly closed a $400 million-plus deal to create a new “Exorcist” trilogy based on the classic film about demonic possession. Ellen Burstyn, who first played the mother of a daughter possessed by a demon, is also joining this new iteration of the horror story.

The jaw-dropping figure was negotiated between Universal Studios and Peacock, and is estimated to be closer to $465 million though it has not been made public yet.

The films will reportedly be directed by David Gordon Green, known for rebooting the “Halloween” franchise in 2018. Joining the trilogy is “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. as the father of a possessed child who seeks the aid of Burstyn’s character Chris MacNeil, mother of the possessed child from the original film.

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted moviegoing, traditional movie production companies are under pressure to protect their assets. The proliferation of streaming services and a rush for subscribers has driven up prices for such film properties and established filmmakers.

The first film in the new trilogy will be released theatrically in late 2023. The second and third films may be released on the Peacock streaming service.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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