The Exorcist: Believer Director Details Developing the Demonic Voice in the Sequel

The director isn't quite ready to reveal who offers the unsettling voice of the demon.

The original The Exorcist is arguably the most memorable possession movie in cinematic history, thanks to the frightening filmmaking techniques William Friedkin used to convey the concept. With David Gordon Green's The Exorcist: Believer, which is billed as a direct sequel to that 1973 experience, the director is taking a similarly ambitious approach when depicting its demons. The original Exorcist enlisted multiple performers to help convey the possession, with Green hinting at how he's giving a voice to the possessed characters, though avoids offering too definitive of an answer of how these sequences will be accomplished. The Exorcist: Believer is slated to hit theaters on October 13th.

"We're in the demon-voice part of the process now, and we're exploring various processes," Green shared with Empire Magazine, per SYFY WIRE. "The other day I brought five very, very different people into a room, with a microphone and asked them to say things. Maybe I want it to be each of these voices and more. Maybe I want the demon to be a lot of things."

Audiences shouldn't have any expectations about the voice, as Green confirmed he'll be making some "radical choices" in the process, admitting, "If you're just trying to do a fan service, you're gonna get lost."

The 1973 film saw the young Regan MacNeil, played by 14-year-old Linda Blair, possessed by the demonic Pazuzu. While Blair performed a significant portion of scenes, other figures helped bring elements of the character to life, which includes Mercedes McCambridge contributing her voice to the possession. 

Likely one reason why audiences shouldn't expect a similar experience to the original film is that the demon in the new movie isn't Pazuzu, which could allow for all manner of unsettling deviations from its predecessor.

We use a new demon, no Pazuzu," Green confirmed to IGN. "We feature a demon who studied demonologists might know."

He added, "We're not dismissing the other sequels, there's just not a real relationship."

The new film is described, "Since the death of his pregnant wife in a Haitian earthquake 12 years ago, Victor Fielding (Tony winner and Oscar nominee Leslie Odom, Jr.; One Night in MiamiHamilton) has raised their daughter, Angela (Lidya Jewett, Good Girls) on his own. But when Angela and her friend Katherine (newcomer Olivia Marcum), disappear in the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened to them, it unleashes a chain of events that will force Victor to confront the nadir of evil and, in his terror and desperation, see out the only person alive who has witnessed anything like this before: Chris MacNeil."

The film also stars Emmy winner Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's TaleHereditary) as Victor and Angela's neighbor, and Grammy winner Jennifer Nettles (HarrietThe Righteous Gemstones) and two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz (Fosse/Verdon, Bloodline) as the parents of Katherine, Angela's friend. The Exorcist: Believer is directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay by Peter Sattler (Camp X-Ray) and David Gordon Green, from a story by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills), Danny McBride (Halloween trilogy) and David Gordon Green, based on characters created by William Peter Blatty.

The Exorcist: Believer lands in theaters on October 13th.  

Are you looking forward to the new movie? Let us know in the comments or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!