Blatty, Friedkin reteaming

William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin, the writing and directing forces behind “The Exorcist,” are teaming up again, for the supernatural story, “Elsewhere,” which is in development at Paramount Pictures.

Based on an idea by Blatty, who is writing the screenplay, “Elsewhere” is said by sources to be on a fast development track. The film will be directed by Friedkin, who’s currently at work on Par’s “Blue Chips,” and produced by Ray Wagner (“Turner & Hootch”).

Reached Friday, Blatty said that he and Friedkin have been “looking for years to do something together.” The writer said, “I pitched the idea for ‘Elsewhere’ to Bill and he wanted to direct it and then the studio put it into development.”

Although Blatty was hesitant to give out details of the story, he said he’s about halfway through the script. Paramount officials wouldn’t discuss the project, but sources say the studio is anxious to get the picture off the ground.

Wagner, who calls the project, “a unique ghost story,” said Blatty sent him a two-page treatment several months ago. He said the film’s budget will depend on several factors, including special effects and talent involved in the project.

“It’s in the lap of Blatty,” Wagner said. “But it’s the kind of thing that Blatty does so well. He brings a good dimension to this type of material.”

Still considered one of the most hair-raising and head-turning movies of all time, “The Exorcist” was a boxoffice sensation when it was released in 1973. The pic became one of the most successful horror films ever, eventually grossing $ 165 million domestically, and ranking No. 27 on the all-time list of boxoffice champs.

Blatty won an Oscar for his “Exorcist” screenplay, based on his best-seller. Blatty made his directorial debut in 1980 with “The Ninth Configuration,” and also directed “The Exorcist III” in 1990.

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