Warner Brothers – What a mess they had on their hands – could they in fact clean up Paul Shrader’s disaster of a flick? According to Variety, during their second 13 week shoot, they did more than clean it up a tad, they completely reshot the entire film and not a single frame of Shrader’s mess will be included! Does this mean there’s still hope for Exorcist: The Beginning? Let us prey. Inside is the full story with what is cost, how it was done and who will be missing from the “sequel to the prequel”!
Variety reports that Renny Harlin’s reshoot of Exorcist: The Beginning wrapped Feb. 22 after 13 weeks on Rome’s Cinecitta Studios backlot, where word is that not a single frame of the footage shot by Paul Schrader will be included in the bedeviled prequel’s new cut.
Harlin’s 13-week effort equals the amount of time spent by Schrader on his original shoot.
Schrader ankled the Morgan Creek production last year due to creative differences. Still, his name is reportedly meant to stay on the pic.
Originally budgeted at $25 million, the antecedent to the 1973 horror classic is now jokingly being referred to in Rome as “the sequel to the prequel.”
Three original key cast members — Clara Bellar, Gabriel Mann and pop star Billy Crawford — are not likely to appear in the final version, since they didn’t return for reshooting. A new scribe, Alexi Hawley (“Grimm”), was brought in to rewrite the William Wisher and Caleb Carr script, and a new editor is working only with Harlin’s material for the recut, according to sources.
“Exorcist: The Beginning,” which is scheduled for release via Warner Bros. this year, recounts the tale of Father Merrin’s journey as a young missionary priest to post-WWII Africa, which led to his first encounter with demonic forces.
The young Merrin is played by Stellan Skarsgard who, after working with Schrader, returned to Cinecitta to reshoot with Harlin.
While Schrader’s footage is thought to have been considered too tame, new footage is said to generously feature revolving eyeballs, spinning heads and loads of projectile vomit!