Mike Flanagan Is The Only One Who Can Save The Exorcist

By Britta DeVore | Published

There’s something about horror movies that allows them to continuously come back time and time again for sequels, prequels, reboots, reimaginings, and remakes. But, more often than not, these new films are just reminders that sometimes we should leave well enough alone and allow a classic to be a classic.

With Mike Flanagan stepping up to helm the next movie in The Exorcist franchise, we may end up eating our words because if there’s any director who can undo the shame that was brought on by The Exorcist: Believer, it’s Flanagan.

The Exorcist Peaked Early

For a quick refresher, the original The Exorcist was a 1973 film by director William Friedkin and one of the biggest horror classics ever. Over the years, the film underwent those aforementioned sequels and prequels and even landed a TV show, but when David Gordon Green picked up the torch for last year’s The Exorcist: Believer, all hell broke loose in the worst way possible. After the movie bombed at both the box office and with longtime fans, a creative overhaul was clearly needed, with news recently dropping that Mike Flanagan would be the next director behind The Exorcist.

The Exorcist: Believer Will Be Forgotten

As of right now, we don’t know what Mike Flanagan’s take on the demonic universe of The Exorcist will look like, but it’s been reported that the filmmaker is planning to go in a completely different direction that was introduced by Green’s production.

To us, this means that there will likely be fewer ties to the family at the center of the first movie, as Green brought both Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair back into the fold to reprise their roles as Chris and Regan MacNeil, respectively. Burstyn’s character had a larger part in Believer, helping the family at the center with their case of demonic possession.

Flanagan Knows His Horror

ewan mcgregor

In the past, Mike Flanagan has not only put out a multitude of truly terror-inducing movies, but he’s also kept audiences on the edge of their seats through a slew of TV productions proving that he’s the man for the job of breathing new life into The Exorcist.

He’s scared the absolute crap out of viewers through films including Absentia, Oculus, and Hush, along with bringing two (soon to be three) of Stephen King’s classic stories – Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep – to feature-length form. And, by the way, if you haven’t seen Doctor Sleep, you don’t want to doze on this incredible flick that features performances from Dune’s Rebecca Ferguson and Star Wars alum Ewan McGregor.

The Hottest Horror Director Working Today

Through a deal with Netflix, Flanagan has been the helmer of many TV productions, including The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club, and, most recently, The Fall of the House of Usher. Each of these productions has had a unique scare factor, as Flanagan not only leans into spooky imagery and jump scares but also blends real-life horror—like trauma—into his stories.

Along with directing each of these projects, Mike Flanagan also served as a writer on his big and small screen works, which he’ll also do for The Exorcist.

If Anyone Can Save The Franchise, It’s Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan writing the screenplay for The Exorcist is another reason we know it’ll be a sure-fire hit. Again, he has a way of working with the human experience in his scripts that makes them a step above your average scary movie. There’s also usually a good twist or two in everything he does, keeping Flanafans fully tuned in through the film’s length. 

We’re looking forward to updates on Mike Flanagan’s offering to The Exorcist universe and, as he’s known for working with many of the same actors, we can’t wait to see which names line the call sheet.