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Geena Davis says 'Exorcist' television series is not a remake, but honors the movie

By Karen Butler
Geena Davis arrives on the red carpet before the screening of the film "The Nice Guys" at the 69th annual Cannes International Film Festival in France on May 15, 2016. The actress can now be seen in the TV series "The Exorcist." File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/bb0d8f22183c7b6eae6d27f819154236/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Geena Davis arrives on the red carpet before the screening of the film "The Nice Guys" at the 69th annual Cannes International Film Festival in France on May 15, 2016. The actress can now be seen in the TV series "The Exorcist." File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis says she was thrilled to be offered a lead role in The Exorcist, a television series inspired by what she described as the "scariest movie of all time."

Set in contemporary Chicago, the horror drama is loosely connected to William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel and the 1973 film adaptation that followed. The TV show casts Davis as a successful businesswoman who enlists the help of a Catholic priest when her home and daughters are besieged by demonic forces.

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"I saw [the movie] when I was a teenager and had no clue what I was going to see and was absolutely just traumatized forever -- in a good way," the 60-year-old Massachusetts native recently told UPI with a laugh during a round-table interview with reporters at New York Comic Con.

"So, when the script came along and the opportunity came along and it says The Exorcist on it, I'm like, 'Holy crap, this is exciting.' But, also, I was thrilled to see it was not a remake, although it honors that movie and the plot includes hints that it's the same world where that actually did happen... And, so, I love that element of it and I know that fans of the movie are already really loving the show."

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For the series to succeed, Davis explained, the characters must be grounded in reality, even though the story they are at the center of is of the supernatural variety.

"That's part of what will make it effective and makes it work and be so scary. Because we have to portray a real family with a real crisis going on," she emphasized. "And the dynamics between us. Who approves of calling in priests and who doesn't. It's a lot to navigate and it's on a really big scale, while, at the same time, it's just this little family that it's happening to."

Co-starring Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Alan Ruck, Brianne Howey and Hannah Kasulka, The Exorcist airs Friday nights on FOX.

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