The Exorcist: Linda Blair to Return in New Blumhouse Movie

Ellen Burstyn's Chris MacNeil isn't the only character from The Exorcist returning for director David Gordon Green's sequel to the original 1973 film. Linda Blair — who played Chris' Pazuzu-possessed daughter, Regan MacNeil, in the William Friedkin-directed horror classic — reportedly reprised her role for the first time since the 1977 sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic. According to Above the Line, which reported the news, Blair briefly filmed a limited role for the 50-years-later direct sequel slated to open October 13th in theaters. 

A spokesperson for studio Blumhouse told Above the Line that Blair "served as an advisor" on the franchise's sixth installment, but did not refute the outlet's report of Regan MacNeil's return. Filming wrapped earlier this month. 

Like the '73 film — which saw Chris seek out a priest (Jason Miller) to perform an exorcism on her demonically-possessed daughter — the continuation follows a father (Leslie Odom Jr.) who turns to Chris for help when his child suffers the same evil.

Unlike Green's rebooted Halloween trilogy, a direct follow-up to the 1978 film that ignored subsequent sequels, the filmmaker revealed the new Exorcist would not ignore the prequels and sequels spawned by the original.

"It's not inaccurate [that The Exorcist 2023 will be a sequel to the original film]. I like all the Exorcist movies," Green told Total Film. "And not only do I like them, I think they can all fall into the acceptable mythology for what I'm doing. It's not like I'm saying, 'Pretend that The Exorcist II never happened.' That's fine to exist. They're all fine to exist, and I enjoy all of them."

The first in a planned Exorcist sequel trilogy, Green's film also stars Odom Jr., Jennifer Nettles (The Righteous Gemstones), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale), Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon a Time), Lidya Jewett (Good Girls), Okwui Okpokwasili, and newcomer Olivia Marcum.

Jason Blum (The Black Phone, M3GAN) is producing the film from Green and his Halloween collaborator Danny McBride, who co-wrote the story with Green and Scott Teems (Halloween Kills, Firestarter). Morgan Creek president David Robinson described the theatrical franchise revival "a compelling continuation" of Friedkin's Exorcist, with the next two films planned to release on streamer Peacock.

Universal and Blumhouse's The Exorcist from Morgan Creek Entertainment opens in theaters on October 13th.