Ellen Burstyn Reveals She's Starring In Blumhouse's 'Exorcist' Reboot To Help Fund An Acting Scholarship

We are just a little more than a month away from the release of Blumhouse’s upcoming trilogy-ending horror film, “Halloween Ends.” This is the third film in the studio’s attempt to revitalize a horror franchise that was fairly dormant for years. And Blumhouse has made a lot of money off of this gamble. Now, the studio is hoping to strike gold again with a new series of films based on “The Exorcist.” The studio has even gone so far as to get Ellen Burstyn to return to the franchise, which begs the question— why now?

Well, according to a new interview with THR, Ellen Burstyn explained why she returns to the ‘Exorcist’ franchise decades after starring in the iconic original film. And guess what? To say it wasn’t about the money would be a lie. But even though it was primarily driven by the money, at first, apparently Burstyn is hoping to use her sizable paycheck to give back.

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“You know, what happened was I’ve turned down many versions of ‘The Exorcist 2,’” said Burstyn. “I’ve said no every time. This time they offered me a whole bunch of money and I still said no. And then they surprised me and they came back and said, ‘We doubled the offer.’ I said, ‘OK, let me think about this.’ I thought, ‘That’s a lot of money. Let me think about it.’ The next thought that came to mind was: ‘I feel like the devil is asking my price.’ And the next thought that came to mind was, ‘My price is a scholarship program for talented students at our master’s degree program at Pace University. That’s my price.’ So I then went back and upped their up and ended up getting what I want. And I’ve got a scholarship program for young actors.”

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For those that don’t remember, Burstyn stars as Chris MacNeil, the mother of the possessed young girl, Reagan in “The Exorcist.” Even though the horror franchise would go on to have multiple sequels, Burstyn never really reprised her role. However, it appears Blumhouse offered her a hefty chunk of change to show up in whatever sequel the studio is working on now.

Not much is known about the new ‘Exorcist’ sequel that is in development now. We know David Gordon Green is onboard to direct and the film is a direct sequel to the 1973 original. It’s clear that Blumhouse is taking the same approach to “The Exorcist” that was taken with “Halloween,” down to using the same director. Will it pay off? We’ll find out eventually, as “The Exorcist” is expected to arrive in theaters in 2023, just in time to celebrate the original’s 50th anniversary.