Shock Till You Drop have spotted an intriguing aside in the current edition of horror bible Rue Morgue. Speaking on the occasion of The Exorcist's blu-ray release, its author and screenwriter William Peter Blatty says William Friedkin is keen to direct his most recent novel, Dimiter.
Blatty says Friedkin is "eager" to set up "our one and only other teaming since The Exorcist: a supernatural suspense thriller set mostly in Jerusalem."
Dimiter was published earlier this year to very strong reviews. Its tricky plot is tough to synopsise (as evidenced by the awful back cover blurb), but the story begins in Albania in 1973 with some protracted torture scenes between Colonel Vlora (The Interrogator) and Paul Dimiter (The Prisoner), a super-spy possibly responsible for the death of Ho Chi Minh in 1969. Dimiter takes all the abuse in silence, before escaping to Jerusalem. A year later, strange events start occurring in the Holy City, including miracle healings and the discovery of a body in Christ's tomb. Described as "the agent from Hell", Dimiter seems to be at the centre.*
A psychological thriller with supernatural undertones, Dimiter, in its complexity, would be a tough screenplay nut to crack, and it's not yet clear who'd be adapting it. Blatty doesn't say that it's him, but if it was, it'd be his first produced script since the studio-botched Exorcist III in 1990.
Blatty directed Exorcist III himself, after Friedkin left the project over the fractious "creative differences" that dog their relationship, although the pair seem to remain reasonably close, both personally and professionally. But there's a bit of a trend of Blatty giving interviews about what Friedkin might be doing, after which nothing transpires. Compare this to last year's story about a possible Exorcist TV mini-series (Blatty has written it, Friedkin is eager to make it...), and Dimiter The Movie starts to sound like far from a done deal.
*The ship that brings Dracula from Transylvania to Whitby is the Demeter. Siginificant, despite the different spelling?