Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist
- Directed By: Paul Schrader
- Written By: William Wisher, Caleb Carr
- Release Date: May 20, 2005
- Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
- Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $32 million (estimated)||Financed by: Morgan Creek|
|Domestic Gross: $251,495||Overseas Gross: $0|
Morgan Creek head James G. Robinson resurrected the Exorcist property in 1997 and began hiring writers to pen the prequel. John Frankenheimer signed on as director in August 2001 and he cast Liam Neeson as the lead and a July 2003 release was penciled in. Frankenheimer left the picture in June 2002 after his health had deteriorated and he died one month later. Neeson then exited the project.
Paul Schrader was brought on as director for what would become Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist and filming began in November 2002 with a $38M budget set. After Paul Schrader screened his first cut for James G. Robinson, the mogul hired another editor to recut the movie and Schrader was pushed aside. Robinson then decided to scrap this whole movie, and reshot the film under the direction of Renny Harlin as Exorcist: The Beginning.
The incomplete Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist remained buried for 2 years and Schrader fought to get his cut released, which was rumored to never see a release. After the failure of the retooled and more commercial Harlin version, Morgan Creek gave Schrader $35,000 for visual effects and sound mixing, which basically allowed for pre-viz quality vfx and poor sound. Even with laughable vfx and sound, it earned decent critical write ups. James Robinson said the scrapped picture cost between $32 million and $35 million and the Harlin version cost $52 – $54 million.
The initial plan was to simultaneously release both versions on DVD, but Dominion eventually landed a limited theatrical release on May 20, 2005. Warner Bros distributed in the US at 110 locations with no visible marketing and the film pulled in $140,703 with a weak $1,279 per screen average. Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist sank 77.7% in its second weekend to $31,447. After its long road to the big screen, it closed after three weeks with $251,495.