In a thrilling turn of events for horror movie enthusiasts, Ellen Burstyn, the esteemed Oscar-winning actor renowned for her role in the groundbreaking 1973 horror film “The Exorcist,” has made a triumphant return to the franchise that terrified audiences half a century ago. Burstyn graces the screen once more in the upcoming installment, “The Exorcist: Believer.”
The recently unveiled trailer for the film serves as a haunting reintroduction to Burstyn’s iconic character, Chris MacNeil, an actress forever haunted by her daughter Regan’s possession, as depicted in the original masterpiece.
As the trailer unfolds, Leslie Odom Jr., the brilliant actor from “Hamilton” fame, who plays the role of a widower desperately trying to save his possessed daughter (Lidya Jewett) and her friend (Olivia Marcum), engages in a spine-chilling exchange with Ann Dowd, acclaimed for her role in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
“Have you ever seen anything like this?” inquires Odom Jr.
“No, but there are people out there who have,” responds Dowd ominously.
Burstyn then makes her dramatic entrance as the person who has witnessed such horrors before, and their harrowing journey to rescue the two possessed girls begins.
“Exorcism is a ritual,” intones Burstyn in the clip. “Every culture, every religion, they all employ different methods – it’s going to take all of them.”
The sequel’s plot revolves around Victor, portrayed by Odom Jr., who finds himself forced to confront the depths of evil and, in his terror and desperation, seeks out the only living person who has experienced anything akin to it: Chris MacNeil. This quest ensues after his young daughter and her friend mysteriously vanish, only to return with no recollection of their nightmarish ordeal, as revealed in an official synopsis.
The trailer is replete with unsettling moments, featuring Jewett and Marcum, both afflicted with the same devilish glares that Linda Blair immortalized in the franchise’s horrifying inaugural chapter.
CNN has previously reported that “Believer,” directed by David Gordon Green, will be the first of three new “Exorcist” films, all of which are envisioned as continuations of the 1973 classic.
Joining the cast of “Believer” are Jennifer Nettles and Norbert Leo Butz, in addition to Jewett, Burstyn, Dowd, Marcum, and Odom Jr.
The original “Exorcist” film was a landmark cinematic achievement in the horror genre, earning a staggering 10 Oscar nominations. This marked the first instance in which a horror film had garnered a nomination for Best Picture. The film ultimately clinched two Academy Awards, one for Best Adapted Screenplay and another for Best Sound. Furthermore, Burstyn’s remarkable performance earned her a well-deserved nomination for Best Leading Actress.