(November 11, 2002 – Burbank, CA) – Principal photography has commenced in Morocco on Morgan Creek Productions’ “Exorcist: The Beginning,” the prequel to the classic 1973 supernatural thriller “The Exorcist,” it was announced today by James G. Robinson, Chairman/CEO and Guy McElwaine, President of Morgan Creek Productions. Stellan Skarsgard will portray the young Father Merrin, a role made famous in the original film by Max Von Sydow. “Exorcist: The Beginning” traces the story of Father Merrin back to his first encounter with the Devil in post-WWII Africa. Produced by Morgan Creek Productions, “Exorcist: The Beginning” will be directed by Paul Schrader (“Affliction,” “Auto Focus” and screenwriter of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull”). The film also stars Gabriel Mann (“Outside Providence,” “The Bourne Identity”), Clara Bellar (“A.I.”) and recording star Billy Crawford. James G. Robinson will serve as the film’s producer and Guy McElwaine will executive produce. The screenplay is by William Wisher (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”). After completing work in Morocco, the production will move to Rome for the remainder of the schedule. “Exorcist: The Beginning” will be released in 2003 by Warner Bros. Pictures, an AOL Time Warner Company, and internationally by Warner Bros. Pictures and Morgan Creek International. Morgan Creek Productions is the sole owner of all worldwide rights for any new or future Exorcist projects, including but not limited to motion pictures, television productions, books and new media. Morgan Creek Productions recently released the basketball comedy “Juwanna Mann,” starring Miguel A. Nuñez, Jr, Vivica A. Fox and Tommy Davidson, which will be available on home video and DVD on November 19, 2002; and recently completed production in the U.K. on “I’ll Be There,” starring Craig Ferguson and introducing Charlotte Church. “I’ll Be There” is scheduled for release through Warner Bros. Pictures on January 31, 2003.
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