‘Exorcist: Deceiver’ Loses Director David Gordon Green, Is Pulled From Universal’s Slate

It was previously dated for Spring 2025

The Exorcist Believer
Universal

“The Exorcist: Deceiver” has been delayed. And what’s more – the hunt is on for a new filmmaker, as David Gordon Green has left due to scheduling conflicts with upcoming projects. Previously, the sequel to 2023’s “The Exorcist: Believer” had been dated for spring 2025.

This past Halloween’s “The Exorcist: Believer” was announced as the first film in a new trilogy to be directed and co-written by Green, the indie-darling-turned-horror-master behind the hugely successful recent “Halloween” trilogy which, like “The Exorcist: Believer,” was made for Universal and Blumhouse.

Both Blumhouse and Universal were looking to make these movie real events. “The Exorcist: Believer,” for instance, marked the return of Ellen Burstyn to the franchise for the first time since William Friedkin’s 1973 original. Plus, in order to obtain the rights to the franchise, Universal had to shell out big, putting down $400 million in 2021.

When “The Exorcist: Believer” was finally released last fall, its release date bumped by Taylor Swift’s “Eras” documentary and overshadowed by Blumhouse and Universal’s own “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie (which was a blockbuster even with a simultaneous release on Peacock), it was savaged by critics (currently has a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes) and still made money ($137 million worldwide) but was not the juggernaut that Universal and Blumhouse were hoping for.

While Universal is blaming Green’s previous commitments, to the Ben Stiller comedy “Nutcrackers” and the fourth season of Green’s HBO series “The Righteous Gemstones,” the response to “The Exorcist: Believer” certainly had something to do with the decision. Green had previously said that the other two movies had been mapped out; it’s unclear whether Universal and Blumhouse will follow those plans and plug in a new director or if an entirely new approach will be sought. Will Leslie Odom Jr. and Burstyn even return for the second and third films now?

In “The Exorcist: Believer’s” place on April 18, 2025, Universal will release “Michael,” the Michael Jackson biopic directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by John Logan.

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