Paul Schrader was indefiant mood as his Exorcist The Prequel was finally unveiled this weekend at the Brussels InternationalFestival of Fantastic Film.
Flanked at Friday's pressconference by nine of his cast and crew, who had flown in to Belgium at theirown expense to support him, Schrader expressed his happiness that audiences arebeing allowed to make up their own minds about his film. He also attackedproducers Morgan Creek - who had originally binned Schrader's footage andshot a replacement version with Renny Harlin - for trying so hard to suppresshis work.
"I always knew therewould be blood on the floor but I didn't know it would be mine," themaverick director quipped as he contemplated his battles with Morgan Creek andits boss James Robinson.
Morgan Creek eventuallyrelented, bringing in editor Tim Silano to cut Schrader's footage with aview to releasing it on DVD. Silano contacted Schrader who was then able tocomplete his movie.
"If you have made afilm which has been shelved or discarded, nobody - not your wife or best friend- will ever believe it is any good because they (Hollywood studios) don'tdiscard $35m investments," Schrader reflected.
The Exorcist Prequel has already secured Benelux distributionthrough Dutch Filmworks. Its fate elsewhere is yet to be determined, butWarner Bros is reportedly contemplating a three-city platform release in theUS. Schrader stated that there was "particular interest" from the UK.
He and original Exorcist author (and director of Exorcist 3) William Peter Blatty recently watched Harlin'sfilm together. Neither was impressed. "What I was most worried about wasthat it was going to be sort of good. If it was good, my case was doomed. Theworse it got, the better I felt."
At present, Schrader isdeveloping a series for HBO based on the cult novels by Andrew Vacchs. "Hewrites very, very hard crime fiction revolving round the sexual exploitation ofchildren," the director said.