Sindhuraj, and directed by Jibu Jacob.
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The screenplay is loosely based on the Malayalam short story '"Pranayopanishath" by V. According to Sindhuraj he was inspired by the story, but the script is "not a page-to-page adaptation.
Mohanlal plays a common character — a panchayat secretary named Ulahannan. After hearing about it, she liked Sindhuraj's story. Mohanlal agreed, and the project was greenlit.
Sindhuraj saw a potential film when he first read "Pranayopanishath" and expressed his interest to James in adapting it into a screenplay. By this time, someone else had bought the film rights from James and drafted a screenplay. Sindhuraj told James that he would step back, but would still like to buy the rights if the other film did not materialise within a given time, which he eventually did.
Sindhuraj thought of the film's tagline "My Life is My Wife" during his vacation in Sri Lankawhere he saw it written on an auto rickshaw. Jayachandran and Bijibal were signed as the film's composers, and Pramod K. Pillai as the cinematographer. As of Junethe filmmakers were in the process of casting actors for other roles.
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The synopsis impressed Balan, but she could not commit to the film due to scheduling conflicts. They had already collaborated on several successful films. Exorcism of Roland Doe Aspects of Blatty's fictional novel were inspired by the exorcism performed on an anonymous young boy known as "Roland Doe" or "Robbie Mannheim" pseudonyms by the Jesuit priest Fr. Bowdernwho formerly taught at both St.
Louis University and St. Louis University High School.
Doe's family became convinced the boy's aggressive behavior was attributable to demonic possession, and called upon the services of several Catholic priests, including Bowdern, to perform the rite of exorcism. It was one of three exorcisms to have been sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the United States at that time.
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Later analysis by paranormal skeptics has concluded that Doe was likely a mentally ill teenager acting out, as the actual events likely to have occurred such as words being carved on skin were such that they could have been faked by Doe himself.
Louis inand despite the relatively minor changes that were made, the film depicts everything that could be verified by those involved. In order to make the film, Friedkin was allowed access to the diaries of the priests involved, as well as the doctors and nurses; he also discussed the events with Doe's aunt in great detail.
Friedkin has said that he does not believe that the "head-spinning" actually occurred, but this has been disputed. Friedkin is secular, despite coming from a Jewish family. The part went instead to Blair, a relative unknown until the film's success. The question of whether or not such a young actress, even a talented one, could carry the film on her shoulders was an issue from the beginning, with film directors asked to do the project such as Mike Nichols being skeptical.
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According to Friedkin, Paul Newman also wanted to portray Karras. Although Friedkin felt this worked fine in some places, he felt scenes with the demon confronting the two priests lacked the dramatic power required and selected legendary radio actress Mercedes McCambridgean experienced voice actress, to provide the demon's voice.
Warners had approached Arthur PennStanley Kubrickand Mike Nicholsto direct, all of whom turned the project down.
Principal photography for The Exorcist began on August 21, Yanked violently around in harnesses, both Blair and Burstyn suffered back injuries and their painful screams went right into the film. The Making of the Exorcist, however, the injury did not cause permanent damage, although Burstyn was upset the shot of her screaming in pain was used in the film. After asking Father William O'Malley if he trusted him and being told yes, Friedkin slapped him hard across the face before a take to generate a deeply solemn reaction that was used in the film as a very emotional Father Dyer read last rites to Father Karras; this offended the many Catholic crew members on the set.
He also fired blanks  without warning on the set to elicit shock from Jason Miller for one of the takes, and only told Miller that pea soup would hit him in the chest rather than the face concerning the projectile-vomiting scene, resulting in his disgusted reaction. Lastly, he had Regan's bedroom set built inside a freezer so that the actors' breath could be visible on camera, which required the crew to wear parkas and other cold-weather gear.
The film's opening sequences were filmed in and near the city of MosulIraq. The archaeological dig site seen at the film's beginning is the actual site of ancient Hatrasouth of Mosul. Because the house from which Karras falls is set back slightly from the stairs, the film crew constructed an extension with a false front to the house in order to film the scene.
The temperature was brought so low that a thin layer of snow fell onto the set one morning. Blair, who was only in a thin nightgown, says to this day she cannot stand being cold. Several scenes were shot in the basement of Keating Hall at Fordham University in the Bronx The scenes involving Regan's medical tests were filmed at New York University Medical Center and were performed by actual medical staff that normally carry out the procedures.
The scene in which Father Karras listens to the tapes of Regan's dialogue were filmed in the basement of Keating Hall at Fordham University in the Bronx.
King's room was photographed by production staff after a visit by Blatty, a Georgetown graduate, and Friedkin. Upon returning to New York, every element of King's room, including posters and books, was recreated for the set, including a poster of Pierre Teilhard de ChardinS.
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Merrin was loosely based. One scene was filmed in The Tombs, a student hangout across from the steps that was founded by a Blatty classmate. The scene where the elderly priest, Father Merrin portrayed by Max von Sydow steps out of a cab and stands in front of the MacNeil residence, between the open gates of the driveway — silhouetted in a misty streetlamp's glow and staring up at an intense beam of light shining from a bedroom window above — is one of the most famous scenes in the movie.
Director Friedkin deleted this scene just prior to the December 26, premiere, as he judged the scene as appearing too early in the film's plot and chose to remove it, despite screenplay writer William Peter Blatty's objection. In the book, the spider-walk is somewhat more muted, consisting of Regan following Sharon around near the floor and flicking a snake-like tongue at her ankles. A take of this version of the scene was filmed but went unused. A different take showing Regan with blood flowing from her mouth was inserted into the Director's Cut of the film however.
Special effects[ edit ] The Exorcist contained a number of special effects, engineered by makeup artist Dick Smith. In one scene from the film, Max von Sydow is actually wearing more makeup than the possessed girl Linda Blair.
This was because director Friedkin wanted some very detailed facial close-ups. When this film was made, von Sydow was 44, though he was made up to look