Movie Reviews

Mike Flanagan's Exorcist Movie Sets Up The Actor Reunion I Need From His 3-Year-Old Horror Show


  • Mike Flanagan is now leading The Exorcist franchise, setting up a potential reunion with Midnight Mass actors fans have been waiting for.
  • After a disappointing start to the new Exorcist trilogy, Universal is hoping Flanagan can bring a fresh perspective to the franchise in 2026.
  • Flanagan’s interest in working with Hamish Linklater again signals a potential collaboration in The Exorcist, following their success on Midnight Mass.

Mike Flanagan is taking over the next installment in The Exorcist franchise, and his involvement sets up a perfect Midnight Mass actor reunion that I’ve waited three years for. In 2023, Universal kicked off a new trilogy of Exorcist movies with The Exorcist: Believer. However, after it was panned by critics and failed to become the box office hit it needed to, Universal is rethinking the next installment in this trilogy. David Gordon Green is out and Flanagan is in to take The Exorcist franchise in a bold new direction.

Universal has given its new Exorcist movie a release date of March 13, 2026 (which is a great date for a horror movie, because it’s Friday the 13th). After the disappointment of The Exorcist: Believer, hopefully Flanagan can bring the same fresh perspective to The Exorcist franchise that he brought to The Shining in his reverent legacy sequel, Doctor Sleep. Flanagan’s involvement in a new religious-themed horror movie sets up a tantalizing actor reunion I’ve wanted since Flanagan made Midnight Mass.

Hamish Linklater’s Midnight Mass Priest Role Makes Him Perfect For Mike Flanagan’s Exorcist Movie

Linklater is well-suited to Flanagan’s next Catholic horror opus

Back in 2021, Flanagan created, directed, and co-wrote the horror miniseries Midnight Mass for Netflix. The series takes place in an isolated island community, Crockett Island, that begins to experience strange supernatural events upon the arrival of a mysterious new priest. Hamish Linklater plays the priest, Father Paul Hill, who takes over St. Patrick’s Church as a temporary replacement for the aging Monsignor Pruitt. The series focused on a venture capitalist dealing with the guilt of killing a woman in a drunk driving incident, but Father Paul stole the show.

Linklater gave an incredible performance in Midnight Mass. He was unsettling and enigmatic, but he was also endlessly watchable. It would be a great callback to Midnight Mass for Flanagan to cast Linklater in his upcoming Exorcist movie, since The Exorcist deals with Catholic horror but from a demonic possession angle. And on top of that, it would just be a great opportunity to reunite Flanagan and Linklater for another unforgettable collaboration.

Mike Flanagan Has Already Expressed His Interest In Working With Hamish Linklater Again

A precedent is set for this long-awaited reunion

Riley and Father Paul sitting side by side in Midnight Mass

There is a precedent for Flanagan to reunite with Linklater to work on The Exorcist, since he’s already said that he’d like to work with the actor again. On Mike Flanagan’s Tumblr page, the filmmaker was asked if he planned to work with Linklater again after Midnight Mass. Flanagan replied that he would “ABSOLUTELY” work with Linklater again. He added that the actor is busy and in demand, so it might take a while for the stars to align, but Flanagan promised, “I know we’ll collaborate again.

Source: Mike Flanagan

Exorcist Movie Poster

The Exorcist

The Exorcist is a supernatural horror film based on the novel released in 1971 and was directed by William Friedkin. When a young girl is passed by a powerful demon, two Catholic priests are brought to her home to attempt an exorcism to expunge the demon. 

William Friedkin

William Peter Blatty

Max Von Sydow , Linda Blair , Lee J. Cobb , Ellen Burstyn , Jason Miller , Kitty Winn , Jack MacGowran

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