The Exorcism Director Joshua John Miller Shares First Memory of Watching His Dad in The Exorcist

Joshua John Miller recalls the childhood memory of seeing his father acting in the original Exorcist movie.

Filmmaker Joshua John Miller shares the story of watching his father, Jason Miller, in the original Exorcist movie. Joshua John Miller has turned The Exorcist into a family affair, directing a remake of the original 1973 film in which his father starred in. 2024's The Exorcist is headlined by Russell Crowe, but it has to be a special feeling for Miller to direct a remake of a movie that his father had an instrumental part in. We wondered what it was like to watch 1973's The Exorcist as a kid, and the feelings of seeing your father in a project that would become a cult classic.

ComicBook spoke to The Exorcist director/co-writer Joshua John Miller and co-writer M.A. Fortin ahead of the film's June 21st release, where we asked Miller about his memories of watching the 1973 film and his initial reaction to seeing it.

"I think the first time I saw it was on TV, so it was heavily edited but still creepy," Joshua John Miller revealed. "I just remember watching it on a tiny TV in my grandmother's living room. I just remember sitting in her living room and it was a TV on a tray. It was kind of transgressive because it was like, 'Ooooo you're up late watching a dangerous movie, and I think my mom and grandmother were arguing about allowing me to watch it at my age. I think I was because I was pretty young. But the thing was it was on TV. But the whole thing of, 'Oh, you're going to see something scary or something you're not supposed to see.' Of course, it makes it all the more exciting, and you just want to crave that."

Exorcist filmmakers had no idea Russell Crowe starred in The Pope's Exorcist

Film star Russell Crowe was the lead in 2023 supernatural horror The Pope's Exorcist, but The Exorcist co-writers Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin explained to Comicbook that they were unaware that he had already been working on another horror project. Director Miller explained why he "wasn't happy" about it originally.

"No [he didn't know he was in the film], and I wasn't happy about it originally. But now in an interesting way, It kind of actually is helping The Exorcism and now people are like, 'oh, is this -- wait, are they connected?' The brand confusion? That's a whole other conversation," Miller said. "But I think there's something actually awesome about, 'oh, there's a movie that's a literal straight genre movie and now there's a making of an exorcist movie?' I think there's a cool conversation to be had about that."

Miller continued, "I mean, that guy [Crowe], I don't think he would admit to being afraid of anything. He's tough, even though he's incredibly vulnerable. But I think that ultimately, I was angry and p---ed and then I thought, 'who cares? You know, our movie is so different. Who cares?' Ultimately, you make the movie you gotta make and that's all you can do. You just focus on the process you make it the best you can. That's all that matters, focusing on trying to make it better and better and better and better as long as you can. As I said, I look at the movie right now and I'm like, 'I want to do 30 more things to it.' In a year, I'll feel the same way and we're trying to just enjoy the process right now and that's it."

The Exorcist releases in theaters on June 21st.