Planned for years, but plagued by problems such as the death of director John Frankenheimer before production had even begun and the exiting of star Liam Neeson, the fourth installment of the Exorcist saga finally got off the ground with Paul Schrader (Affliction, Auto Focus) behind the camera and Stellan Skarsgård filling the shoes left empty by Neeson. But the pitfalls didn't stop there, as Morgan Creek decided against their initial approach assigned to Schrader after seeing his finished cut, and hired Renny Harlin to reshoot the film with extra gore and head-spinning nastiness. The first prequel in the series, Exorcist: The Beginning is based upon events occurring before the first film. Playing the character made famous by Max von Sydow in the earlier films, this entry finds Skarsgård as a young Father Merrin facing true evil for the first time in Africa in the wake of World War II. When a young local boy begins to behave strangely, it becomes more and more apparent to Merrin that the child is a victim of demonic possession. Boasting a first-time screenplay by best-selling novelist Caleb Carr (The Alienist), Exorcist: The Beginning features a supporting cast headed by Izabella Scorupco (GoldenEye) and James D'Arcy (Master And Commander).
by Matthew Tobey synopsis