William Peter Blatty (1928-2017)


William Peter Blatty (1928-2017)

Influential writer of The Exorcist William Peter Blatty died yesterday

There’s no denying the enduring power and importance of William Friedkin’s horror classic The Exorcist. We still write about it, watch it, debate it and celebrate it. It’s a landmark of cinema, full stop. Sadly, however, via Friedkin’s Twitter page, we have just learned that the man who penned both the original novel and the screenplay used in the film, writer William Peter Blatty, passed away yesterday, just five days before his birthday. He was 89.

The New York-born William Peter Blatty leaves behind a solid body of work both as a writer and a director in his own right. He did a re-write on the second adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend, 1971’s The Omega Man, co-wrote the 1964 Pink Panther flick A Shot in the Dark and wrote and directed both 1980 cult classic The Ninth Configuration (based on his novel Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane) and 1990’s The Exorcist III, based on his own novel Legion. Many fans cite The Exorcist III as superior to the original.

A true maverick of dark fantasy literature and filmmaking, Blatty’s mind and pen will be sorely missed.