Comic-Con: Fox Holding "Surprise" Exorcisms for 'The Exorcist' 

The network is staging exorcisms around Comic-Con to promote 'The Exorcist' reboot, and THR was on hand for the first one.
Sydney Bucksbaum/THR
A staged exorcism at Comic-Con

If you're on the ground at Comic-Con, keep an eye out for random exorcisms in addition to all the creative cosplay.

Fox is staging "surprise" exorcisms in downtown San Diego to promote the network's upcoming reboot of The Exorcist. The Hollywood Reporter witnessed the first exorcism of the weekend outside of the Hard Rock hotel across from the Convention Center on Friday morning.

When the exorcism began, no one near the commotion really knew what was happening. A space was cleared on the sidewalk, and two seemingly random Con attendees, a guy and a girl, walked through it. The guy collapsed onto the ground out of nowhere, and he puked while his body was twitching and contorting in alarming ways. His friend freaked out and didn't know what to do. Then two priests stepped in to save the “possessed” guy in the staged flash exorcism. While it was shocking at first, by the end of the stunt everyone knew it was all for fun and the "possessed" person had been in on the ruse from the very start.

Check out Fox's video of the stunt:

These flash exorcisms will be happening multiple times a day on Friday and Saturday, with different performers for each one. Each of the "possessed" actors are circus performers, so it's truly a sight to see them contorting their bodies. If you're at Comic-Con and want to witness one for yourself, follow @TheExorcistFOX to track where the exorcisms are occurring throughout the weekend.

"I thought it was great," executive producer Jeremy Slater told THR after the stunt. "I've been coming to Comic-Con as a fan for the last 12 years, and every year I say that next year is the year that I'm going to have something here. And this year I do. So I'm just on cloud nine. Every time the train goes by with our logo on it, I have a geek-out moment. I didn't sleep a wink last night since our panel is today."

When Slater heard that Fox was going to stage live exorcisms at Comic-Con to promote his new series, he "couldn't believe it."

"This exorcism was great, are you kidding me?" Slater said with a laugh. "I've asked for schedules for the next several days so I can stalk all of them. We were looking for new ways to surprise Comic-Con fans and show them something new, and I think contortionists getting exorcised on the streets of San Diego is certainly something I've never seen before at Comic-Con in the past 12 years. Doing something for the first time is awesome."

The Exorcist is described as a modern reinvention of the popular horror film. The drama pilot is inspired by William Blatty’s 1971 book, and the serialized psychological thriller follows two men (Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels) tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession and confronting the face of true evil.

The Exorcist premieres Sept. 23 on Fox.

Bookmark THR.com/ComicCon to keep up with all the SDCC highlights. 

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