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Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) Poster

Trivia

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Liam Neeson was initially cast as Father Merrin.
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Peter Jackson was asked to direct.
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The producers considered bringing back William Friedkin back to direct.
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Morgan Creek Productions fired Paul Schrader after he had submitted a completed movie, saying that he had given them "footage without any of the bloody violence the backers had wanted". He had already made it clear in interviews that he was making more of a psychological drama than an all-out gore-fest. He was fired and Renny Harlin was hired to re-shoot the movie. Almost 90% of the movie was re-shot and at least two characters have been dropped from Paul Schrader's version of the movie. Following the lackluster reception to Harlin's version, though, Schrader's version was finally released as Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005).
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Several changes followed the firing of Paul Schrader, both in crew and cast. Screenwriter Alexi Hawley was called to retool the previous script, and he cut off some characters of Paul Schrader's version, besides adding some new ones, like the one played by actress Izabella Scorupco. Actor Gabriel Mann, who played Father Francis in the original version, was not able to re-shoot his scenes due to schedule problems, so new director Renny Harlin replaced him with James D'Arcy.
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Stellan Skarsgård is playing a younger version of Max von Sydow's character from The Exorcist (1973). Skarsgård is nearly a decade older than von Sydow was during the filming of the original movie.
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Linda Blair was "shocked" when she discovered that Warner Bros. had used her image/voice in the promotional campaign(s), unauthorized.
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John Frankenheimer voluntarily stepped down from directing the movie one month before his death.
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The film was originally rated NC-17 "due to the film being too graphic and violent". The offending scenes were edited and the result was the R-rating for "strong violence and gore, disturbing images and rituals, and for language including some sexual dialogue".
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Peter Franzén was offered the role of Matti Ristinen.
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Roughly 10 percent of Paul Schrader's scenes made it into the final film, including two minutes of the Holland village massacre. Schrader's version of the sequence is at about 20 minutes long.
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After director John Frankenheimer abandoned the project, it was rumored that Morgan Creek producers would hire David Rocksavage to go on with the movie. These rumors were proved wrong when Paul Schrader was hired.
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Just at the start of the re shoot, Renny Harlin was involved in an accident and broke his leg. He had that leg supported by metal support and a cast.
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Ryan Phillippe and Kerr Smith were both considered for the role of Father William Francis.
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Director Trademark 

Renny Harlin:  [Finland]  small Finnish flag visible on top of a cabin next in Sarah's medical room.
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