Ellen Burstyn will reprise her role in The Exorcist in what is being described as "a compelling continuation" of the 1973 horror classic which is often regarded as the scariest movie ever made.

According to reports, Universal Studios are set to pay $400m for the rights to a new trilogy which will see Burstyn return to her Oscar-nominated role as Chris MacNeil opposite Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr as a father seeking her out when his daughter is possessed.

The Guardian reports that the first film in the new series will be released in cinemas in October 2023, with further films possibly being aired on Universal's US streaming service Peacock.

David Gordon Green, who directed the new Halloween trilogy starring Jamie Lee Curtis, is slated to direct the first new Exorcist film.

The 1973 original also starred Linda Blair as the possessed child Regan and Max von Sydow and Jason Miller as the desperate priests who try to free her of the evil spirits, made over $440m at the box office and won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Leslie Odom Jr as Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami

Previous sequels and prequels were universally panned, while Geena Davis also starred in a short-lived TV sequel in 2016.

A stage production of The Exorcist was staged at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre at Halloween in 2019.

Burstyn will next be seen in the Showtime series The First Lady as Sara Delano Roosevelt alongside Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson, and Kiefer Sutherland.

Odom Jr was recently nominated for an Oscar for playing Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami and will next be seen in the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark and Knives Out 2.