The Exorcist heading to the small screen

Over the past few years we’ve seen a host of classic television series getting the big screen treatment, but now it seems that TV executives are looking to reverse the trend by turning to movies for their source material. Earlier this year NBC commissioned a series based upon the cinematic serial killer Hannibal Lecter from writer-producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Heroes) and director David Slade (30 Days of Night; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and now Vulture is reporting that The Exorcist has been tapped for a ten-episode series, which is set to be shopped around to networks in the coming weeks.

According to the report, the series will be adapted by Sean Durkin, who made his feature film debut last year with the Elizabeth Olsen-headlined thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, and is set to be produced by Roy Lee (The Departed, The Ring). The small screen adaptation is said to follow “the events leading up to a demonic possession and especially the after-effects of how a family copies with it… and when medical and psychiatric explanations fail, the desperate family turns to the church, with Father Damien Karras finally brought in to attempt the exorcism.”

Based upon author William Peter Blatty’s 1971 best-seller, The Exorcist was directed by William Friedkin and starred Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow and Linda Blair, along with Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras. Released in 1973, The Exorcist became the first horror film to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards and proved highly controversial, especially here in the UK, where it was unavailable between 1984 and 1998. It was however a huge hit, grossing over $440m from a $12m budget, and went on to spawn the sub-par sequels Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Exorcist III (1990), Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005), as well as countless imitations.