Fox gave San Diego Comic-Con attendees the public’s first look at the network’s new horror-thriller series, The Exorcist, last Friday. The series pickup was first reported by Variety in May of 2016, and is a serialized adaptation of the classic 1973 Warner Bros. film that will take place in the present day, four decades after the 1970s setting of the original film. The pilot was written by series showrunner and executive producer Jeremy Slater, and stars Geena Davis (Stuart Little) , Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels (Locke), Brianne Howey (Horrible Bosses 2) and Hannah Kasulka. The show will air on Fox and is produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Morgan Creek Productions.
According to an IGN review of the pilot episode, the series is more of a spiritual successor to the original film than an exact reboot of the classic story. The new show is set in Chicago rather than the Washington, D.C. area, but still focuses on the events of a girl who has been possessed by a demon. The child’s strange behavior brings the girl’s mother (Geena Davis) to go to her local priest (Alfonso Herrera) for help. In turn, Herrera’s character is forced to seek the assistance of the controversial demon-hunting Father Marcus (Ben Daniels), who has experience with exorcisms. They must reconcile their philosophical differences to help the possessed girl.
The pilot’s early review praised the work of the cast, but expressed doubt on the ability to stretch the general plot and characters arcs of the 1973 film over a 13-episode season. On top of the potentially thin plot, the expected scares from any show titled The Exorcist are still to be seen, as most of the freaky moments in the pilot were jump scares that amounted to little more than a quick shake to the viewer. Will there be a twist or hook that creates originality for the series and compels TV viewers to tune in every week? That question remains unanswered. The Exorcist will air on Fridays, and premieres September 23 on Fox.