Given the profitability of the original The Last Exorcism, which grossed $62.5 million worldwide on a budget of $1.6 million, a sequel was pretty much a foregone conclusion. We already knew that Damien Chazelle had been tapped to write the The Last Exorcism 2 and that Ashley Bell had once again agreed to star as Nell Sweetzer.
Now we know who's directing. That'll be Ed Gass-Donnelly (This Beautiful City, Small Town Murder Songs). And he'll begin shooting the Eli Roth produced sequel soon. Like, next month soon.
Per Deadline, "Production has been set to begin on the sequel to horror/thriller hit The Last Exorcism next month in New Orleans. Ed Gass-Donnelly will direct the R-rated follow-up to the 2010 PG-13 pic that grossed $70 million worldwide on a budget of $1.5 million. Star Ashley Bell is returning to reprise her role as Nell Sweetzer for the Damien Chazelle-penned film. As with the original, Eli Roth is producing via Arcade Pictures with Eric Newman, Marc Abraham and Tom Bliss producing via Strike Entertainment."
Interestingly enough, the article indicates that the producers are consciously aiming for an 'R' rating for this followup to the PG13 original. Producer Eric Newman, "The first film worked great as a PG-13 psychological film, but now we want to go R-rated and show the true horror of what this subject matter offers. The biggest creative challenge will be coming up with the right title!"
He's right about the last bit. Is it too late to go the prequel route and call this film The 2nd To Last Exorcism? Whatever it's called, delivery of the film is expected in late 2012, which I suppose means we're looking at a January 2013 release date.