Paul Schrader's EXORCIST prequel, PAUL SCHRADER'S EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, is finally hitting the big screen after extended controversy saw the film initially being abandoned.

Schrader, who wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, was snapped up in 2002 to make a prequel to the classic 1970s horror movie.

But James Robinson, boss of production company MORGAN CREEK, scrapped the $35 million film (GBP18 million) movie as it lacked the gratuitous gore of the original movie.

Director Renny Harlin, ex-husband of THELMA AND LOUISE star Geena Davis, stepped in and re-shot the movie for another $35 million (GBP18 million), adding more of the elements which made The Exorcist such an audience-puller.

But when Harlin's remake nose-dived in America, Morgan Creek and Warner Brothers decided to release Paul Schrader's original film after all. The film is set for release in the next two months.

James Robinson's son DAVID, who also works with movie giants WARNER BROTHERS, told Fox News correspondent Roger Friedman, "I never want to have to go through anything like this again."

But Schrader views the saga as a positive process with a successful conclusion.

He says, "They'll be talking about this in film schools for years to come. I think it was a case of buyer's remorse. I made the script I was given. But then they saw it and got nervous.

"It wasn't right. It was very upsetting."

25/03/2005 13:53