The Exorcist Failure Causes Studio To Bring In The Hottest Horror Director Today

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

The Exorcist franchise reboot didn’t start off on a strong foot when the first of three planned films only made $26.4 million domestically after its premiere in 2023. Following the flop, director David Gordon Green exited the project, causing a stall before the next feature could be released. Now, Mike Flanagan, writer, director, and horror mastermind behind projects like The Fall of the House of Usher, The Midnight Club, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Doctor Sleep, and The Haunting of Hill House, is in talks to take over the Exorcist reboot. 

More Exorcist Films Are Coming

Despite the rocky start, Blumhouse and Universal Pictures aren’t willing to let the reboot go, and they’re looking at Mike Flanagan to save the Exorcist franchise. Flanagan is the hottest horror director of the modern age, which is a good omen, hopefully foretelling much bigger numbers for the next film.

The Reboot Was A Disappointment

The Exorcist: Believer, starred Leslie Odom Jr. and Ellen Burstyn and cost $400 million to make (though reports vary on how much of that was purchasing the rights to the franchise). However, it only brought in $26.4 million domestically and $136.2 million worldwide.

Believer’s Director Is Embracing Comedy

The movie Mike Flanagan is reportedly taking over, The Exorcist: Deceiver, was meant to hit theaters in just under a year, on April 18, 2025. However, with Green exiting the project, that deadline is no longer realistic, and Michael, the Lionsgate Michael Jackson biopic, has taken over the release date. Instead of making the next Exorcist film, Green has remained busy filming Nutcrackers, Ben Stiller’s first lead role in six years, and working on The Righteous Gemstones for HBO, which is pending a fourth season. 

Mike Flanagan Is The Right Man For The Job

While Green has swapped out horror films for comedy dramas, Mike Flanagan has been busy crafting a resume worthy of taking on The Exorcist. However, the director has recently dipped his toes into alternative genres. The Life of Chuck, a Stephen King adaptation in the realm of drama/sci-fi/fantasy starring Tom Hiddleston, Mark Hamill, and Karen Gillan, just entered post-production with a release date sometime this year. 

Flanagan’s Extensive Horror Accomplishments

Prior to The Life of Chuck, Mike Flanagan’s work has been horror-centric, which will likely make him feel right at home on the set of The Exorcist: Deceiver. Flanagan helmed The Fall of the House of Usher for Netflix, a chilling gothic horror miniseries drawing from Edgar Allan Poe’s tales. Renowned for his ventures into the realm of Stephen King adaptations such as Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s Game, Flanagan has left his mark with films like Ouija: Origin of Evil and Oculus, in addition to his acclaimed series like The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, The Midnight Club, and more.

Other Unrelated Exorcism Films On The Way

If he accepts the offer from Blumhouse and Universal Pictures, Mike Flanagan is a worthy leader to take on the reboot of such a classic franchise as The Exorcist. Meanwhile, Deceiver isn’t the only exorcist film in the works. The Exorcism, by writer/director Joshua John Miller and starring Russell Crowe, releases on June 7, 2024, and is based on Miller’s real-life experience as the son of the actor who played the priest in the original The Exorcist movie.