Our roving correspondent, Gilbert Colon (of Ferrara fame), informs me that this year will bring a flurry of activity surrounding the work of William Peter Blatty. Bill, of course, is best known as the author of The Exorcist (1971), which he adapted for the screen and produced in 1973, and its legitimate sequel—i.e., ignoring Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), John Boorman’s reviled followup film—Legion (1983), which he adapted and directed in 1990 under the studio-imposed title of Exorcist III. Some years ago, Gilbert and I had the honor and pleasure of conducting a career-spanning interview with Bill, partly pursuant to the introduction I wrote for Gauntlet’s limited edition of The Exorcist (now sadly sold out).
According to http://www.theninthconfiguration.com/, a website devoted to Blatty and his work, these new offerings include:
*the long-awaited publication next month of his novel Dimiter by the Forge imprint of Tor Books (which also publishes Richard Matheson and is now a part of my erstwhile employer, St. Martin’s Press);
*another novel, Crazy, which Bill describes as “a total romp,” and says is due in September-October;
*a one-volume edition, published on June 1, that will contain both his original novel Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane (1966) and the version he later rewrote (and filmed in 1980) as The Ninth Configuration (1978), plus an essay by Mark Kermode;
*a one-volume edition of The Exorcist and Legion, plus a Blatty interview by Brian Freeman, published by Cemetery Dance, which released his novel Elsewhere last year.
Gilbert and I discussed most of these projects with Bill in our own interview, although a lot of our material ended up on the cutting-room floor when it was published in Filmfax. However, Cinema Retro has expressed some interest in running the uncut version on its site, so watch this space for further details. And, for those of you with a scholarly bent, check out editor Benjamin Szumskyj’s American Exorcist: Critical Essays on William Peter Blatty (McFarland, 2008). I have yet to see that book myself, but I contributed to Benjamin’s subsequent volume The Man Who Collected Psychos: Critical Essays on Robert Bloch (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-4208-9).