Following a few turbulent months of upheaval with certain horror productions, audiences had hoped 2024 would get off to a smooth start.
Unfortunately, January has so far yielded the news that the sequel to the divisive The Exorcist: Believer has hit a major snag. In fact, the project may not even come to fruition, with Believer’s underperformance blamed.
In a somewhat expected move, writer/director David Gordon Green has stepped down from The Exorcist: Deceiver. We say this isn’t exactly news as, following Believer’s release and middling reception, Green himself expressed doubt about returning to direct the sequel.
Speaking in November 2023, Green said the following in regards to the already announced Deceiver:
My intention is just to start making things, and as those plans come together, if I find myself in that [The Exorcist: Deceiver] director’s chair, I’d be thrilled. But right now, I’m navigating it from a story perspective and looking at my realities of life as I pivot.”
It may be entirely possible that Green knew something we didn’t at the time, as with the announcement of his departure, Universal have pulled The Exorcist: Deceiver from their release schedule.
Originally slated for April 25th 2025, Deceiver has now disappeared completely. Whilst no word was given for the removal, it is largely believed that the studios involved are unwilling to proceed with the film given the largely negative reception to The Exorcist: Believer.
Universal and Blumhouse paid a reported $400 million to obtain the rights to make The Exorcist: Believer. Whilst a trilogy was planned, Believer was largely a disappointment critically and commercially. Although making a respectable $135 million on a $30 million budget, that is a long way from the $400 million rights fee, as well as a promotional campaign estimated to have cost $100 million.
With such an investment, it is understandable that Universal and Blumhouse had high hopes for The Exorcist: Believer. However, the film ultimately ended up costing them $395 million, so is it any surprise they’ve opted not to proceed with a sequel.
As it stands, The Exorcist: Deceiver is being “creatively re-evaluated,” as per Green. However, the removal of the film from the schedule does not bode well for the project. It would be no surprise if The Exorcist: Deceiver fails to materialise and the series is quietly put to bed once more.
However, we’ll have to wait and see.