Mike Flanagan in Talks to Direct ‘Exorcist’ Sequel for Universal, Blumhouse

But how does the filmmaker’s “Dark Tower” series fit into these plans?

The Exorcist Believer

Mike Flanagan, the prolific filmmaker behind “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Doctor Sleep” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” is in talks to direct “The Exorcist” sequel for Universal and Blumhouse, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The source stressed it’s early days and a deal is far from guaranteed, but there is interest from both sides and Flanagan has a take on the material.

Universal directed TheWrap’s inquiry to Blumhouse, who had no comment.

In 2021, Universal shelled out $400 million for the rights to the “Exorcist” franchise and planned a trilogy of films, but director and cowriter David Gordon Green exited the series after directing last year’s “The Exorcist: Believer,” despite having mapped out the next two films.

Flanagan is no stranger to stepping into existing horror franchises and putting his own spin on things. He crafted 2016’s surprisingly great “Ouija: Origin of Evil” prequel for Blumhouse and was able to bridge the gap between Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King for 2019’s “The Shining” sequel “Doctor Sleep,” which was released by Warner Bros.

The filmmaker most recently wrote and directed the independent King adaptation “The Life of Chuck,” a drama starring Tom Hiddleston that’s in the can but hasn’t been released yet.

A potential blocker for Flanagan entering “The Exorcist” fray is his deal with Amazon to adapt King’s sprawling “The Dark Tower” as a TV series. He’s been working on the adaptation with his creative partner Trevor Macy, but a timetable for when that might go forward has yet to materialize. Amazon is coming off the success of another high-profile genre adaptation in “Fallout,” so a greenlight for “The Dark Tower” seems like a no-brainer (although doing the adaptation justice won’t be cheap).

Flanagan moved his production company Intrepid Pictures’ deal to Amazon after working with Netflix on the popular “Haunting” TV series, which spanned two anthological installments. He also made the original limited series “Midnight Mass” and the Christopher Pike adaptation “The Midnight Club” at the streamer, but the latter was canceled shortly after its debut in 2022.

“The Exorcist: Believer” opened in October and grossed $137 million worldwide against a budget of $30 million, but had its release date bumped late due to the surprise arrival of Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” movie. Despite bringing back Ellen Burstyn from the original “Exorcist,” the sequel didn’t land well with critics, earning largely scathing reviews.

The next film, dubbed “The Exorcist: Deceiver,” was originally scheduled to hit theaters in April 2025, but has since been removed from Universal’s release schedule.

The InSneider first reported the news of Flanagan’s involvement with “The Exorcist” franchise.


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