Halloween Kills director talks working on new Exorcist trilogy

Halloween Kills is arriving to theaters imminently, but director David Gordon Green is busy with a fresh take on another iconic horror franchise: The Exorcist. If that’s not enough, he’s also got a series based on Hellraiser in the works, too. 

“Hellraiser is on other writing shoulders,” Green points out to SFX Magazine. “We’ve got some really strong writers, but they’re working on that. So that’s waiting to be delivered. But right now I have written the first of three Exorcist movies. That was my pandemic project and a very different exercise than Halloween, it’s much more researched and academic and it’s approaching the genre from a different direction than a slasher movie. Both are really fun, both are really intimidating because they’re following in the footsteps of the masterful horror films that I grew up with.

“It’s just an amazing opportunity to be able to play in these playgrounds and have access to these characters. Doing Zooms with Ellen Burstyn is unbelievable. Getting script notes and talking about character and doing research for people that have experienced the reality of some of these events. 

“Again, very different than Halloween, so I feel like I get to exercise different muscles, which is great. Just hoping that we can realise that in a way that speaks to the fans of the original film and opens up to a new audience.” 

How do you even begin to process writing a new version of what many consider to be the greatest horror movie of all time? “Give me a break!” he chuckles. “For Exorcist it was staring at a blank page for days. Like, where do you possibly begin? I just took inspiration from the original film and saw the kind of restraint that film has and the assumption that the audience is very intelligent, and not have to spell it out. 

“Once we were going, my co-writer Pete Sattler and I, we started getting aggressive and really turning over pages really quickly. But it was a lot of conversations. We’re doing that right now. We’re doing that all weekend for 2 and 3. 

“It’s interesting, switching gears back and forth between the Halloween mindset and Exorcist mindset, which involves a totally different toolbelt.”

For much more from Green, make sure to buy the new issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab) featuring our huge Halloween preview, available from October 6 on newsstands – while subscriber copies are on the way now.

Also check out 7 questions I STILL have after watching The Exorcist if you want to unpick the original.

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