Why Jamie Lee Curtis Turned down “The Exorcist” (and Her Perfect Role in the Relaunch)


That’s why Jamie Lee Curtis turned down the role of Regan in “The Exorcist” and what would be her ideal role in the reboot. Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Lee, and the murder scene in the shower of the latter in “Psycho” is one of the most shocking horror scenes of all time. Curtis herself openly declared her dislike of horror and was not going to get involved with this genre when she was filmed in “Halloween” in 1978. This low-budget slasher will have a seismic impact on the genre, and its success is linked to future franchises such as Friday the 13th and Scream.

Despite the fact that after the release of “Halloween” became the highest-grossing independent film of all time, its success had little impact on the career of Jamie Lee Curtis. Her Halloween director John Carpenter later wrote a role specifically for her in 1980’s “The Fog,” and after that movie became a hit, she had a series of horror films like Prom. Curtis made a conscious attempt to break out of the genre after “Halloween 2” in 1981 and for this reason abandoned “Psycho 2”. Despite the fact that Curtis herself is not a horror viewer, she has nothing but gratitude for the films that launched her career and the fans who supported her.

This is a key reason why she returned for both the 1998 H20 Halloween and the 2018 Blumhouse Legacy sequel Halloween. The last film put her together with director David Gordon Green, and it turned out to be a box office success again. Curtis is now an undeniable horror icon, but she has also come close to another groundbreaking film in this genre. In an interview with EW in 2018, the actor revealed that “when I was 13, [the producer] called my mother and said:”Will you let Jamie audition for a movie?” Her mother Lee refused, however, perhaps because of the content of the best-selling novel and concerns about the high demands for the role of Regan McNeil.

Linda Blair was chosen instead, but despite the fact that Janet Lee auditioned for The Exorcist on behalf of her daughter, she and Tony Curtis later showed the film for Jamie. Curtis again reminded EW that the movie “pissed her off” and the next day she was heavily teased at school for her reaction. Her Halloween 2018 supervisor, Green, is now heading up a planned trilogy of new exorcist films with the return of the original starring Ellen Burstyn. Jamie Lee Curtis suggested that “Maybe I should be the voice of the devil, like Mercedes McCambridge. You see, if David gives me a role in the new Exorcist trilogy as the voice of the devil, then it will be a complete comeback for me, in a meta way.”

Curtis has some experience in dubbing, for example, the English dubbing of From Up On Poppy Hill and other animation projects. The creator of the new movie “The Exorcist” Green has also established himself as a nerd in the horror genre, so perhaps he will consider choosing Jamie Lee Curtis as the new voice of Pazuzu (provided that the demonic entity returns in the new film). It is unknown if Regan’s character will return, as there has been no mention of Linda Blair’s appearance. Given that the actors are roughly the same age, Curtis could also be a good choice for the older Regan, although Blumhouse probably wouldn’t want to cross-pollinate its two biggest horror franchises in this way.