David Gordon Green has stepped down from the Exorcist franchise. Following the success of The Exorcist: Believer, which resurrected the film series last year, Green will no longer be directing The Exorcist: Deceiver, the second film in the new trilogy.
Universal and Blumhouse are now looking for a new helmsman for the film, and the movie has been pulled from the original April 18, 2025, release date. Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic will now take that date, reported Entertainment Weekly.
Back in July 2021, Universal Pictures and Peacock Productions announced in a joint statement that they had acquired the rights to release three new Exorcist films, an acquisition that was described by the New York Times as “a $400 million megadeal.”
Blumhouse and Morgan Creek will produce the new Exorcist films, with Green, who oversaw Blumhouse’s recent trilogy of Halloween sequels, directing the first movie in this new series of the Exorcist franchise.
The film, titled The Exorcist: Believer, starred Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, and seasoned franchise star Ellen Burstyn, but it underperformed at the box office when it was released last October, earning $65.5 million domestically and $70.1 million internationally.
In an interview with EW, Green discussed continuing his involvement with The Exorcist franchise prior to The Exorcist: Believer hitting the theaters. According to him, Linda Blair, the star of the 1973 classic The Exorcist, who appears briefly in Believer, has spoken with him about possibly reprising her role in either or both of the next two movies. Green said she laughed at the suggestion.
“I don’t know what that means,” he said. “So, I’m not sure. I mean, I know we had a good time, I know she speaks very highly of the experience, and I’ve got infinite ideas of where we could go.”
As part of an interview with UPROXX in October 2023, Green was asked how the trilogy would fit together. He said, “We’ve got a roadmap, but also, like we did with Halloween, our first Halloween, 2018, was two-thirds of our first script. And then the success of that gave us permission to just make the second one just anarchy and go ballistic. In this one, we have a roadmap of where we go with two and three, but nothing sacred, nothing confirmed.”
Green has numerous projects beyond the Exorcist franchise to keep him busy. Deadline reported in December that he is directing Ben Stiller in the film Nutcrackers, about a workaholic who must reluctantly relocate to rural Ohio to care for his four rambunctious nephews after their parents die in a car accident. Green also serves as an executive producer on HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones.