The Exorcist Will Possess Live Audiences


One of the most controversial—and successful—films in history is about to be transferred to the stage for the first time.

On June 21, The New York Times reported that a theatrical adaptation of The Exorcist is set to have its world premiere next month at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The stage version of the movie—which featured a little girl's head twisting 360 degrees, a lot of profanity and even more green vomit—has some significant theatrical pedigree behind it, including playwright John Pielmeier, who had previous success examining the Catholic Church in his play Agnes of God. Tony Award-winning director John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company) is set to helm the production and the stars include Richard Chamberlain as Father Merrin (played by Max von Sydow in the film) and Brooke Shields as the mother (played by Ellen Burstyn in the movie).

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Author William Peter Blatty, whose 1971 novel shocked the literary world before evolving into an even bigger shock as a 1973 film, has given his blessing to Pielmeier to adapt his story to the stage.

The stage version is set to be performed as a single act, without intermission.

"If you're going to make people tense in the theater, you can't let them out." Doyle told the Times.