(1928- ) US author, former PR officer and screenwriter best known for The Exorcist (1971), which he adapted and produced as the movie The Exorcist (1973). Based loosely on a true incident, the novel is an intelligent exploration of Possession and Exorcism; in the battle between Good and Evil, humanity is but a pawn. It is an intense and dark Theodicy. The screen version, with its realistic and shocking effects, transformed the Horror Movie and revived the moribund Horror fiction market just at the time that Stephen King emerged.
WPB was not involved with the movie's first sequel, but he did write a sequel to the Exorcist, Legion (1983; vt Exorcist III: Legion 1990), which again explores the world's inherent evil; it was filmed as The Exorcist III (1990; > The Exorcist). [MA]
other works: I, Billy Shakespeare (1965); Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane (1966; rev vt The Ninth Configuration 1978), filmed as The Ninth Configuration (1979; vt Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane); The Exorcist (coll 1973), which gathers the screenplay, drafts and notes about the movie.
William Peter Blatty