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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Exorcist director 'not gory enough'
Paul Schrader
Scharder is a renowned director and scriptwriter
Hollywood director Paul Schrader has been sacked from The Exorcist IV: The Beginning because he has not put enough gore in it, a US newspaper has said.

He was sacked by producers Morgan Creek Productions after apparently giving them footage without any of the bloody violence the backers had wanted, according to the New York Post.

Principal footage for the film - thought to have a budget of 30m - had already been shot in Rome and Morocco.

Schrader, who was the writer behind classic films such as Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, intended to make the film as a psychological drama rather than a gory horror film.

But producers were reportedly furious that Schrader had left out the blood and guts that had made the original Exorcist film from 1973 so notorious. They now reportedly want someone else to reshoot more explicit scenes.

'Does not deliver'

In the original film, a priest, Father Merrin, battles a demon that has possessed a young girl. Exorcist IV is set just after World War II, showing the first battle between a young Father Merrin and the demon, Pazuzu.

"The problem with Paul's cut of the movie is it does not deliver the psychological fear we were looking for," the Post quoted co-writer Caleb Carr as saying. "It does have some good dramatic elements which can be rearranged with some good shooting into a very good movie."

The Exorcist
The Exorcist was deemed one of the scariest movies ever

No announcement as to who will replace Schrader has yet been made.

Veteran director John Frankenheimer was originally earmarked to direct the sequel, but died last year. Actor Liam Neeson was also reported to have taken the role of Father Merrin, but it is now being played by Stellan Skarsgard.

Schrader's most recent directorial role was in the critically-acclaimed Auto Focus, based on the life and death of US TV actor Bob Crane.

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