William Friedkin’s 1973 classic ‘The Exorcist’ is considered by many to be the most frightening horror film of all time. The movie, which was based on the Peter Blatty novel of the same name, follows the story of two Catholic priests who attempt to exorcise a demon called Pazuzu from a young girl. As the plot progresses, the younger of the priests, Father Merrin, questions his faith as he faces the truths and trickeries spouted by the demon-possessed girl, Regan.
Now it seems as if this horrific, yet timeless, tale is about to head to the stage in the form of a play. Fangoria is reporting that the play adaptation of ‘The Exorcist’, written by John Pielmeier (‘Agnes of God’), will open first in LA and will star Richard Chamberlain (‘Shogun’) and Brooke Shields (‘Blue Lagoon’) as Father Merrin and Regan’s mother respectively.
Pielmeier’s version of ‘The Exorcist’ is described by the playwright as a more basic version of the story, eschewing much of the shocking FX of the film version. Of his version, Pielmeier said:
The story of the battle between faith and evil needed no spinning heads or green vomit. The horror should unfold instead on a simple set with an incredible cast (which we absolutely have), and the central conflict between doubting Father Karras and the demon should be a series of debates, in which the young girl possessed is the least of the figures present.
Since I’ve never considered ‘The Exorcist’ as a very frightening movie, I think this approach could make for a better version than the pea-soup spewing film adaptation.
Not content with simply playing LA, the show’s producers are already eyeing up an attempt at a Broadway run. IF the play does make the jump to Broadway, the role of Father Merrin will be switched out and actor Malcolm McDowell will take over the role. McDowell, best known for his role as Alex Delarge in ‘A Clockwork Orange’, was originally offered the role but had to decline for reasons unknown. But McDowell is already confirmed that he’d take the role should ‘The Exorcist’ move to Broadway. McDowell is definitely no stranger to horror as he’s played in many genre films, recently appearing in Rob Zombie’s remake of ‘Halloween’ and the upcoming ‘Silent Hill: Revelation’.
So what do you think? Would you watch a stage adaptation of ‘The Exorcist’? What do you think of McDowell in the role of Father Merrin? Voice up below and let us know!