Aunt Lydia is about to dance with the devil.
Ann Dowd is joining the ensemble of “The Exorcist,” which is being billed as both a new take on the demonic possession classic, as well as the first film in a planned trilogy. The veteran character actress, best known for her work as the chilling enforcer of dystopian discipline on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” will appear alongside “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. and Ellen Burstyn, who is reprising her role from the original film as Chris MacNeil.
Blumhouse and Morgan Creek are producing the movie for Universal and Peacock. The first film in the new “Exorcist” saga will be released theatrically on Oct. 13, 2023.
Dowd won the 2017 Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her work on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and was also nominated for an Emmy in 2018 and 2021. Last year, Dowd starred in “Mass,” a searing drama about the aftermath of a school shooting. For her performance, Dowd was nominated for the best supporting actress by BAFTA and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice). She also previously collaborated with “The Exorcist” director David Gordon Green on 2015’s “Our Brand is Crisis,” an under-seen political satire. Gordon Green also executive produced “Compliance,” the indie drama that served as Dowd’s breakout film. Dowd will next be seen in the political thriller “The Independent” opposite Brian Cox, Jodie Turner-Smith and John Cena.
Scott Teems, Danny McBride and Green, who worked together on the “Halloween” reboots, have teamed up on the story for “The Exorcist.” The script is being penned by Peter Sattler (“Broken Diamonds”) and Green.
Jason Blum will produce on behalf of Blumhouse. David Robinson and James Robinson will produce for Morgan Creek. Gordon Green, McBride and Couper Samuelson will executive produce. Ryan Turek is overseeing the project for Blumhouse.
Dowd is represented by Principal Entertainment and Innovative Artists.