In a recent interview, director William Friedkin talked about making changes to The Exorcist for the previously released extended version, William Peter Blatty, and the possibility of returning to the horror genre. 

With the recent complaints surrounding changes George Lucas made to the original Star Wars trilogy for the Blu-ray release, we thought it was interesting to read Friedkin's comments regarding the original cut of The Exorcist and his relationship with Blatty.

Any interest in ever returning to horror again since The Exorcist still stands as the most successful outing in that genre ever made?

Friedkin: I don’t know. Everything depends on the script to me. If I’m attracted to one I’ll do it. I’m sure there are many new things that could be done in that genre. I’m thinking about something now, but I haven’t worked it out enough to discuss it. It is in that genre, but doesn’t involve the supernatural.

Are things less tense between you and William Peter Blatty now that the alternate version of The Exorcist is out there?

Friedkin: Oh sure and look, I used to say to him, “You’re a sore winner.” He made a fortune on the film. When I did make those cuts and make the ending more ambiguous, he didn’t agree with it, but the whole idea of a feud between us is all trumped up. He wrote in a copy of his novel that he gave me and I still have, “To the only director whose made a better film than the novel.” That’s how he felt and then over the years it became interesting and controversial to say that we feuded, but he did come to me in the year 2000 and said, if you can find that footage would you restore it? Because the studio told him that they’d re-release it. So I said, “Well let’s look at the footage together,” we did and I said, “Yeah, we can do another version, I’m fine with that now.”

Well, thanks for keeping both versions out there unlike a certain other director.

Friedkin: Oh yeah, of course. It’ll always be thus. And there are fans of each one. There are people who think it’s much better to have everything we shot in there and others who like the original. I don’t want to deny either audience.


To learn more about William Friedkin and his latest film, Killer Joe, read the rest of the interview at Collider.

Source: Collider