A remake of The Exorcist has been floating around Hollywood for years. I know a couple of screenwriters who have taken meetings on it but backed away; after all, how can anyone hope to top William Friedkin's masterpiece from 1973? At the time the things I was hearing about this remake were not good, as if the folks behind the production didn't have the first idea of what worked in the original and just wanted a cheap scare film.
Now the remake of The Exorcist is back in play, but in a totally different form. It's being done as a ten hour television mini-series, and it's being written (maybe directed?) by Sean Durkin, the promising talent behind the terrifying Martha Marcy May Marlene. That movie was so full of dread and tension I felt like I needed an Ativan after seeing it, so it seems to me that Durkin is exactly the right guy to tease significant existential horror out of the material.
According to Vulture, who broke the news, the new version will focus on 'the events leading up to a demonic possession and especially the after-effects of how a family copes with it.' The ten hours should allow for a very nuanced drama, as well as more good old fashioned exorcising.
I'm okay with this sort of a remake. It's essentially an adaptation for a new medium, like the stage play version of The Exorcist happening in LA this summer. The expanded runtime will allow this version to examine things in a different way than Friedkin's film; it will not be just a rehash.
The show is not yet set up at any network, but will be out for meetings in two weeks.