Even with meddling from studio executives, The Exorcist III is both one of the best sequels in film, and one of the best horror movies, period. In fact, while the 1973 adaptation of William Blatty’s novel The Exorcist is considered a horror classic, many fans — and Blatty himself — consider Exorcist III to be a superior film, as well as being truer to Legion, the 1983 novel it’s based on.
As good as the original theatrical release of Exorcist III is, for years fans have been teased by details in the film’s Wikipedia entry (and elsewhere I suppose) about how the studio ordered reshoots against Blatty’s wishes, reshoots which primarily tampered with the movie’s ending, and how a director’s cut was impossible since the cut footage was lost by Morgan Creek Productions.
HOWEVER, late last year the studio revealed via Twitter that it had suddenly found the cut footage and would eventually release it. That news has culminated in the announcement that Shout Factory will be releasing a collector’s edition on Blu-ray that will include the original theatrical release, plus a director’s cut to finally realize Blatty’s original vision.
According to Blumhouse.com last July:
The label were quick to clarify, “Will there be a “Director’s Cut” of the film? The answer is yes—but with some caveats. We are working on putting together a version that will be close to Blatty’s original script using a mixture of various film and video tape sources that we have been provided with. This is still a work in progress and we will update you with more details at the time we announce the full list of bonus materials.”
The Shout/Scream Factory collector’s edition will be available October 25th and can be pre-ordered now directly from their website (with the advantage of getting it 2 weeks early) or Amazon.
P.S. If you’ve never read Legion, I recommend you do so, as it gave me some genuine chills.
P.P.S Follow up Exorcist III with The Ninth Configuration.