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'Exorcist' prequel rises from the dead

Posted Friday, April 15, 2005 at 4:23 PM Central

by John Couture

While you're waiting in line for Revenge of the Sith on May 20th, if a sense of deja vu sweeps over you, don't worry, you won't be alone. A second prequel to 1973's The Exorcist with the same cast as Exorcist: The Beginning is set for a limited release opposite the final chapter in the Star Wars series. Talk about killing a movie twice.

The long story short is director John Frankenheimer was set to direct the Exorcist prequel, but he pulled out due to illness. Scrambling, Warner Bros. brought in director Paul Schrader who opted for a more psychological horror movie. When he turned in his final cut, the bosses at Warner Bros. were expecting a movie with more overt horror and violence and brought in director Renny Harlin to fix it. Thirty million and a complete re-shoot later, Harlin had his own definitive vision that became Exorcist: The Beginning.

Warner Bros., hoping to recoup some of their initial investment in Schrader's version, were holding onto the original film for a future DVD release, but decided after the theatrical letdown of Exorcist: The Beginning that they couldn't lose anything by releasing Schrader's version theatrically.

And so, the showdown is set. The Sith vs. The Devil. Something tells me that the devil isn't going to win this one either.