Linda Blair: The Iconic Scream Queen
When it comes to Scream Queens, Linda Blair’s name stands tall among the legends of the horror genre. Her spine-chilling performance as Regan in the 1973 classic, “The Exorcist,” cemented her status as an iconic figure in horror cinema. With the recent announcement of a new Exorcist trilogy in the works and Ellen Burstyn returning to the fold, fans have been curious about whether Linda Blair would also reprise her role. However, it’s worth noting that Blair’s involvement in the upcoming film, “The Exorcist: Believer,” will be in a different capacity altogether.
A Teenage Phenomenon
Believe it or not, Linda Blair was a mere 14 years old when she took on the role of Regan in “The Exorcist,” a film often hailed as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Her character, Regan, endured a nightmarish journey filled with demonic possession, profanity-laden outbursts, levitation, and the unforgettable pea soup vomit scene. However, in “The Exorcist: Believer,” Blair will not be stepping into the same terrifying shoes. According to director David Gordon Green, she will play a behind-the-scenes role, offering her insights and expertise as an advisor on set.
A Mentor to New Stars
Linda Blair’s return to the world of horror as an advisor for this upcoming film is exciting and immensely beneficial for young talents like Olivia Marcum and Lidya Jewett. These two rising stars portray best friends who fall prey to the same demonic presence that tormented Regan half a century ago. Blair’s wealth of experience and expertise will surely be a guiding light for these budding actresses. After all, Blair faced her own set of challenges while embodying Regan in 1973, including a lower back injury during a bed-shaking stunt and the relentless media scrutiny that came with being part of a controversial horror film that left some viewers fainting or feeling nauseous. In many ways, Linda Blair paved the way for young actresses in the horror genre today.
Avoiding the Sequel Curse
Linda Blair’s decision not to reprise her iconic role as Regan in “The Exorcist: Believer” is rooted in wisdom. While she did return as the possession survivor in “The Exorcist II: The Heretic,” that sequel is widely panned and often cited as one of the worst movies ever made. Even the original film’s director, William Friedkin, didn’t mince words when he called it the worst movie he had ever seen. Consequently, the third installment in the series takes a cue from the successful reinvention of franchises, such as Blumhouse’s “Halloween.” “The Exorcist: Believer” will be a fresh start, a direct sequel to the 1973 original, ignoring the events of the ill-fated second film.
Ellen Burstyn’s Impactful Return
While Linda Blair won’t return as a legacy character in the new Exorcist trilogy, the legendary Ellen Burstyn will reprise her role as Chris MacNeil. In the original film, Burstyn’s character witnessed the horrific ordeal that the demon Pazuzu inflicted upon her daughter. In “The Exorcist: Believer,” Burstyn’s nature offers guidance and assistance to two young girls trapped by Pazuzu’s evil influence. What makes Burstyn’s involvement even more commendable is her intention to bring a scholarship program to the Master’s degree program at Pace University. As the co-president of the Actors Studio, Burstyn’s presence ensures that aspiring actors and actresses can pursue their dreams and hone their craft.
A Grateful Acknowledgment
As we eagerly anticipate the mesmerizing performances of the young stars in “The Exorcist: Believer,” it is crucial to acknowledge Linda Blair’s valuable contribution to the film. Her role as an advisor goes beyond the screen, ensuring the safety and authenticity of the set. She might even pass on her ingenious techniques for creating those convincingly horrifying pea soup vomit scenes. The first installment of the new Exorcist trilogy is set to hit theaters on October 6th, with availability on Peacock following the theatrical run. Let’s celebrate Linda Blair’s enduring legacy in the world of horror and look forward to the spine-tingling terror “The Exorcist: Believer” is sure to deliver.