Mike Flanagan on a red carpet

Mike Flanagan Might Be Tackling the Most Terrifying Horror Franchise

There are some horror franchises that send a chill down my spine. I can typically watch them fine, but that doesn’t mean I’m not terrified. One of those franchises was recently brought back by Blumhouse, and now the master of horror, Mike Flanagan, is reportedly in talks to take over.

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Flanagan, who is known for shows like The Haunting of Hill House and The Fall of the House of Usher, knows what it takes to both scare an audience and make us question what we think is our reality—or maybe that was just his take on Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I never quite knew where the real world ended and where the Overlook Hotel began in that film.

The point is that Flanagan knows how to take on iconic horror stories and make them his own. He also knows how to bring a world that was already established (like The Shining) to life and bring it to a new generation. That’s why the news that he is in talks to direct the next movie in The Exorcist franchise has me on edge. It is the only horror movie I watched as a kid that made me want to sleep on the floor (because I thought a demon couldn’t get me there). It was a whole thing.

The 2023 film The Exorcist: Believer brought back Chris MacNeill (Ellen Burstyn) and her daughter Regan (Linda Blair), but the movie was just an okay attempt at a reboot. A new report from Deadline states that Flanagan is in talks with Blumhouse to take over, since David Gordon Green departed the franchise back in January.

As of this time, neither Blumhouse nor Universal has released a statement on the potential of Flanagan directing, but if it were to happen, Flanagan would take on the sequel film after production on his latest King adaptation, The Life of Chuck.

If anyone would make me afraid of the unseen demons, it is Flanagan

As previously stated, I was terrified of The Exorcist as a kid. I probably watched it at much too young of an age, but little me thought if I slept on the floor, a demon couldn’t possess me. When I went to watch The Exorcist: Believer, I was disappointed by the lack of fear I felt. It wasn’t because of the cast (Leslie Odom Jr. was innocent) but rather the pacing of the film.

Or maybe I was too distracted by the fact that it uses the 2010 Haiti Earthquake as a reason for the death of Victor’s (Odom) wife and Angela’s (Lidya Jewett) mother to be that afraid of anything. With Flanagan potentially taking over, I know one of two things. One: It will be absolutely bone chilling to watch. Two: I will end up invested in whatever characters he includes in his take on it.

This is truly one of those perfect pairings that rarely exist, and I hope that Flanagan, Blumhouse, and Universal can all work out a deal. Also, if they wanted to let him just take over rebooting old horror franchises, I wouldn’t be mad at it.

(featured image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.