At the turn of the century, as we discussed yesterday, Morgan Creek set out to make a prequel to THE EXORCIST, and wound up making two of them instead. We already took a look at Paul Schrader’s DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST, the first one made, but initially shelved by the studio. When they test screened it they were so unhappy they decided rather than trying to salvage it with reshoots and recuts they would build a church on top of it and bury the church, by which I mean hire Renny Harlin (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER) to start over.
The script was heavily rewritten by Alexi Hawley (a first timer who has since written for TV shows such as The Following, Castle and The Recruit), but it’s still about Father Merrin uncovering an early Christian church found mysteriously buried in the Turkana district of Kenya. Stellan Skarsgård continued, as he put it in an intro for the premiere of Schrader’s version, “carrying the cross for Merrin for another year.” And Julian Wadham and Ralph Brown will later show up as Major Granville and Sergeant Major. But Father Francis is now played by James D’Arcy (HITCHCOCK, OPPENHEIMER), and Clara Bellar’s Dr. Rachel Lesno has been replaced by Izabella Scorupco (GOLDENEYE) as Dr. Sarah Novak, so even when Skarsgård’s dialogue is the same he had to refilm. (read the rest of this shit…)