Now here’s some interesting news for horror fans. Exorcist 3 is generally regarded as a very worthy follow-up to The Exorcist after the much hated Exorcist 2: The Heretic [I rather like Exorcist 2 myself, but there you go], but, as most fans probably know, the finished film is quite different from writer/director William Peter Blatty’s original cut. The studio execs weren’t too keen on Blatty’s version and ordered reshoots, probably to make it more like a conventional horror film, though the film as it stands still works very well, particularly that legendary hallway scene which is one of the greatest jump scares in horror movie history!
Anyway, The Ninth Configuration, a site dedicated to Blatty’s wrok, asked William about a cryptic tweet Morgan Creek had sent out about Exorcist 3, asking about the possibility of seeing William’s original version of the film. This was way back in September around the time rumours were spreading that Morgan Creek was going to remake the Exorcist. Blatty replied to the website and said:
“They are planning a new Blu Ray of my cut”.
Presumably they’ve managed to find all the lost footage [maybe in the same place they found the Nightbreed footage?], and are either piecing together or restoring the original cut. We don’t know any more details yet, but hopefully we’ll get to see this [thanks IMDB]:
– Alternate opening scene in which Kinderman views the body of Karras in the morgue after his fall down the stairs in the ending of the first movie. When Kinderman leaves the morgue…the heart monitor shows signs of life from the body of Karras.
– Aftermath of death scene of the first murdered priest — where his dead body is shown holding his severed head while sitting.
– Longer version of the scene where Kinderman talks with priest about the murders and when demon face is shown on statue of the saint. Originally, unseen intruder decapitates the statue and places a knife in its hand.
– Exhumation of Damien Karras’s body in Jesuit cemetery. Later it’s discovered that dead body is actually from Brother Fain, Jesuit who was tending Karras’s body and who disappeared 15 years ago. Although this scene is deleted, parts of it are used in new ending where Patient X/Karras is buried.
– Blatty’s original cut also didn’t have Jason Miller as Karras/Patient X in it, and it had a different isolation cell for scenes in which Kinderman talked with Patient X/Gemini killer. Some promotional photos show Patient X and Kinderman talking in original cell.
– New exorcism ending that Blatty had to film also had small part deleted in which Karras/Patient X is morphing through many other faces. One theatrical trailer shows this deleted scene.