The Facts on the Exorcist Prequel

By Garth Franklin Tuesday January 13th 2004 11:40PM

sp; Captain HowdyDespite attempts to quell them, the rumours persist and keep growing on decisions made for the currently filming reshoots of the "Exorcist" prequel. Now Captain Howdy, one of the foremost Exorcist dedicated sites out there and run by an interesting Aussie bloke I met last year, has done an extensive article in an effort to try and clear up the speculation by sorting out what's real and what's conjecture for now:

"First of all, the bare facts directly from Morgan Creek:

   Re-shoots have resumed after the Christmas break and will wrap in mid-February (close to when principal photography finished last year).
   All re-shoots are happening in Rome at Cinecitta studios, where the second half of principal photography occurred.
   Approximately 90% of the prequel is being re-shot.

Take the above dot-points as you will, but they are facts. Morgan Creek also CONFIRMED that James D'Arcy and Izabella Scorupco have indeed joined the project. HOWEVER, close sources mentioned some internet reports are incorrectly claiming that these actors have come on board to replace previous actors who filmed principal photography with original director Paul Schrader. This is not true.

James D'Arcy is playing Father Francis under Renny Harlin's direcion after Gabriel Mann already portrayed the role for Paul Schrader. The reason for this re-cast is simply that Gabriel Mann COULD NOT RETURN TO THE PROJECT due to other commitments, forcing Morgan Creek to re-cast and release Mann. Internet reports are also falsely claiming that Izabella Scorupco has REPLACED Clara Bellar as Rachel. This is not true. The character of Rachel in Exorcist: The Beginning has been completely removed from the project and Izabella Scorupco's role is in no way a 'replacement' capacity, Clara Bellar's character has simply been 'written out'. Does this mean no more love interest for Father Merrin? Pop singer Billy Crawford's performance has also (supposedly) been written out of the project. Stellan Skarsgard has stayed on as Father Merrin and will complete the re-shoots, as expected. Contrary to stating that Alexi Hawley alone has 'tooled' Caleb Carr's script, Caleb Carr will still be credited as the writer, along with William Wisher for the original screenplay. Apparently, MANY writers were involved in looking over the screenplay and making adjustments to best improve on it from Schrader's cut (hence 90% being re-shot), and Alexi was just one of them.

I tried to get comment from Morgan Creek on all of this information, but - due to contractual obligations - (you guessed it) they could not comment. They DID confirm that James D'Arcy and Izabella Scorupco are attached and that shooting is happening in Rome, to be completed in mid-February and release to happen 'later in 2004', but could not comment any further".

Thanks to 'Jay'