FOX is putting a modern twist on the horror classic The Exorcist with a terrifying new series of the same name that airs Fridays beginning Sept. 23. “It’s not a reboot. It’s not a remake,” says actor Alfonso Herrera, who plays an ambitious young priest who counsels a family in peril (with parents played by Geena Davis and Alan Ruck). The padre is also plagued by vivid dreams that lead him to a reclusive priest (Ben Daniels) for help in saving the possessed family.
Presenting a new twist on the Exorcist film franchise is can be difficult since the original film is so iconic, but the cast is up to the challenge. “I love horror,” says Daniels, “I love, love, love it. I’ve probably watched every possession movie that’s ever been made. So for me, this project is like heaven.” Davis adds, “The Exorcist, like, curled my hair. Like most people, I saw it when I was a teenager and I’m scarred for life. It’s really the best horror movie ever made.” Most people agree with Davis that The Exorcist is the scariest horror film in history, but the FOX series offers a few scares of its own: I found myself cowering behind my fingers while watching a particularly creepy attic scene in the series pilot.
Check out the series’ sooooooo scary trailer:
Executive producer Jeremy Slater says that the series incorporates subtle homages to the original series, but don’t look for an appearance from Father Merrin of Father Karras. He reveals that one Easter egg includes Herrera’s Father Tomas doing an internet search and noting that the exorcism in Georgetown [the original film] occurred 40 years ago. “It was important to let everyone know that this is a continuation of an existing story. So that was our little nod to say, ‘Don’t worry. The events of the movie, the events of the book still took place. We’re just telling a brand‑new story with new characters 40 years later.'”
Herrera says he is proud to add to the Exorcist legacy and the way the series is mindful of its past. He says, “There are very interesting connections to the original film and to the original characters. Those connections are going to start to appear little by little.” While we can only wait and hope for an appearance of green pea soup, Herrera revealed a little bit of himself when he answered our “5 Questions.”
1. If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
Mad Men. I remember I watched Mad Men not so long ago. I really enjoy that show. House of Cards. And I’m looking forward to watching Mr. Robot. I watched a little bit of the first episode; I think I’m going to enjoy that show.
2. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Strawberries, maybe almond milk and definitely carrots.
3. What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?
There’s a Brazilian movie called Cidade de Deus (City of God) that I really like. I really, really love that film. It talks about the situation in Rio de Janeiro. It talks about the difficulties of life in favelas, and it’s a very raw and very authentic Brazilian movie.
4. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
Once I met Ronaldinho, who is a very important soccer player. When I met him, I was very, very happy about meeting him.
5. What do you remember about the first time you saw the film The Exorcist?
I watched the film when I was 12 years old in Mexico City. I watched it with my little brother — he was 8 years old. You can imagine who got the worst part. After that, me and my little brother, we struggled a little bit to sleep.
The Exorcist > FOX > Fridays at 9pm ET/PT, 8pm CT, beginning Sept. 23