The Extended Director’s Cut of ‘The Exorcist’ Is Coming to Theaters in a New 4K Restoration Ahead of the Horror Classic’s 50th Anniversary

an image from the 1973 movie
© Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

The classic 1973 chiller The Exorcist won’t officially mark its 50th anniversary for another few months (interestingly, it originally premiered in theaters the day after Christmas, on Dec. 26, 1973).

But to get a head start on celebrating that anniversary, and in time for the Spooky Season (and just ahead of the release of the latest entry in the franchise, The Exorcist: Believer, which hits theaters Oct. 6), Fathom Events will be bringing Best Director Oscar nominee William Friedkin‘s Best Picture Oscar-nominated film to theaters in a special edition with a very limited re-release.

The 50th anniversary theatrical re-release of The Exorcist will screen in select theaters on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, at 4pm and 7pm local time, and on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, at 7pm local time.

poster for "The Exorcist" 50th anniversary extended director's cut limited theatrical re-release in October 2023. It features the iconic image of a priest standing in silhouette in front of a glowing light emanating from the house of a demonically possessed young girl.

© Warner Bros./Courtesy Fathom Events

Fathom says that this limited engagement puts the spotlight on Friedkin’s extended director’s cut from 2010, which contains an additional 12 minutes not seen in the original theatrical release, including an alternate ending.

The extended director’s cut was sourced from the original 1973 cut camera negative with newly restored and remastered picture and sound in 4k — removing dirt, scratches and other defects while maintaining the film’s original creative integrity — and featuring remixed audio.

The release is also in remembrance of Friedkin, who passed away Aug. 7, 2023, at age 87, and as part of Warner Bros. ongoing celebration of the studio’s 100th anniversary.

Leading into each screening will be an all-new exclusive tribute to Friedkin hosted by film historian and TCM personality Ben Mankiewicz, which celebrates the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s enduring legacy.

Plus, all screenings will include a trip through the iconic landmarks that helped bring the shocker to life via a short companion piece produced in 2010 titled The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now, which features appearances by Friedkin; author William Peter Blatty, who won an Oscar for the screenplay adaptation of his own 1971 novel; costar Linda Blair; and the film’s Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Owen Roizman.

The Exorcist, of course, stars genre icon Blair as Regan MacNeil, a preteen girl whose increasingly disturbing behavior soon gives way to demonic possession, with Best Actress Oscar nominee Ellen Burstyn as her frantic mother.

Max Von Sydow and Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Jason Miller costar as the priests enlisted to save young Regan from the ultimate evil, and the impressive ensemble cast also boasts Lee J. Cobb, and Mercedes McCambridge — who is not seen, but is memorably heard as the voice of the demon who possesses Regan (the film also earned an Oscar for its sound).

The Exorcist 50th Anniversary screening of the Extended Director’s Cut/4K restoration will play in select theaters on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, at 4pm and 7pm local time, and on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, at 7pm local time. Visit the Fathom Events website, or your local theater’s site, for availability in your area.