The Exorcist, the television series that serves as a sequel of sorts to William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic, follows two very different priests tackling one family’s case of demonic possession. Caught in the middle is the Rance family, a seemingly normal suburban family but in reality anything but.
Patriarch Henry Rance (Alan Ruck) seems to be losing his mind, older daughter Katherine (Brianne Howey) is a recluse who refuses to leave her room, and younger sister Casey (Hannah Kasulka) says she can hear noises coming from within the walls of their home. And then there’s their mother, Angela, played by Geena Davis, who is plagued with recurring nightmares, each more frightening than the last, who out of desperation reaches out to the priests for help. Here, Davis briefly discusses the show and her role in it…
What intrigued you enough about The Exorcist to commit to a TV series?
I have done TV, and have kind of gone back and forth between TV and movies. I love doing TV and I’ve always had my eye out to see if there’s something else that will come along that I’d like to do. I happen to love horror, and had done one at least [The Fly], and I was scarred for life by the film version of The Exorcist. When I read this script, I thought it was exciting and scary, and I could see where I was going to get a lot of very cool stuff to play. That was enough for me.
Does the show have a connection to the film?
The series takes place in a world where the events of the film really did happen. The movie took place in this world in 1973. It’s the present and, uh-oh, something starts to happen again. It’s different priests and a different family, and the whole situation is different, because so much time has passed. But there are references to the movie as being real. My character has disbelief that she’s talking to a priest about what’s going on, and he finds a newspaper article that has a picture from the first movie. It’s subtle, but definitely the same world.
There are a lot of dark shows out there – Outcast, last season’s Damien, now The Exorcist – why are they gaining such popularity?
Look, the world is a scary place right now. You turn on the TV and there’s a lot of darkness happening. Sometimes it seems that the bad guys are winning. The appeal of any sort of fiction like this is to address that head on and say, “Maybe there’s a reason the bad guys are winning, but there are still good guys in this world. There’s still light to push back against the darkness and we still have a chance.”
The Exorcist will air on Fox in the US from 23 September 2016, with a UK air date and channel to be announced. For all the latest TV news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.