THE LAST EXORCISM Sequel Gets Director, Start Date, and R-rating; Star Ashley Bell to Return

     January 21, 2012

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As the beginning of January saw the box office smash, and subsequent fall, of the found-footage exorcism pic The Devil Inside, the sequel to another film in the “found-footage exorcism movie” genre is moving full speed ahead. We first heard movement on the follow-up to 2010’s The Last Exorcism last August, but now the sequel has a director, star, and new rating. Ed Gass-Donnelly (This Beautiful City) will direct the untitled sequel, which begins production next month in New Orleans, and instead of sticking with the original’s PG-13 rating, the sequel will be going R. Hit the jump for story details, and to find out what’s behind the rating switch.

The follow-up will pick up three months after the events of the first film, which centered on an exorcist facing a crisis of conscience brings a documentary crew along to film his final exorcism. Producer Eli Roth explained the rating change thusly:

“The first film worked great as a PG-13 psychological film, but now we want to go R-rated and show the true horror of what this subject matter offers.”

Ashley Bell will return to reprise her role as the possessed Nell, but no other story details are given at this time. Low-budget horror films are all the rage at the moment, and The Last Exorcism was made for a mere $1.5 million despite grossing close to $70 million at the box office. Obviously, audiences haven’t tired of the demonic-infused found-footage genre (Paranormal Activity 3 has already grossed over $200 million at the box office and a fourth one is on the way), so Hollywood will keep churning them out until people stop showing up. The Last Exorcism sequel is due to hit theaters sometime later this year.

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