William Peter Blatty

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William Peter Blatty in 2009

William Peter Blatty (January 7, 1928 – January 12, 2017) was an American writer and filmmaker. The Exorcist (1971) is his best-known novel; he also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, for which he won an Academy Award, and wrote and directed the sequel The Exorcist III.


  • The original story that I sold [Morgan Creek] (and that I shot) ended with Kinderman blowing away Patient X. There was no exorcism. But it was a Mexican stand-off between me and the studio. I was entitled to one preview, then they could go and do what they wanted with the picture. They gave me a preview but it was the lowest end preview audience I have ever seen in my life. They dragged in zombies from Haiti to watch this film. It was unbelievable. But I decided, better I should do it than anyone else. I foolishly thought: I can do a good exorcism, I'll turn this pig's ear into a silk purse. So I did it
    • The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows (Omnibus Press, 1999)

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