Director: Paul Schrader
Writer(s): William Wisher, Caleb Carr
Starring: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar, Billy Crawford, Ralph Brown, Israel Oyelumade, Andrew French, Antonie Kamerling, Julian Wadham, Eddie Osei, Ilario Bisi-Pedro, Niall Refoy, Lorenzo Camporese, Burt Caesar, Marcello Santoni, Griet van Damme, Simon McLinden, Pet Chege, Hamadi Mwapachu, Evelyn Duah, Rick Warden, Michele Mariotti, Ben Meyjes, Oliver Maltman, Omari Carter, Adrian Black, Nick Komornicki
Synopsis: Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil’s soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin’s initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.
Release Date: May 20, 2005 (USA) | Length: 117 min | Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller | MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and disturbing images.
Note: This is an alternate version of the Exorcist prequel “Exorcist: The Beginning” by director Renny Harlin. Dominion was created first but the studio didn’t like it and had Renny Harlin redo it but when that version was released and unsuccessful, they released Paul Schrader’s version.
The Difference: The basic plot of Father Merrin (played in both films by Stellan Skarsgård)’s first contact with the demon Pazuzu in Africa is the same, although Pazuzu’s name is never used. He is referred to only as “Satan” and the “demon”. Most of the same characters remain, although some are recast and their names changed, e.g., Dr Sarah (in The Beginning) is Dr Rachel (in Dominion). James and Joseph are in both movies, but with much smaller roles in Dominion. The demon does not possess Joseph; rather he possesses a crippled village boy named Cheche. Probably the most noticeable difference is that Dominion concentrates on Merrin’s doubts about his faith, whereas The Beginning is geared more towards the horrific and scary elements of the story. Also, the majority of the characters live in this film, whereas almost all of them are killed off in The Beginning. (from IMDB)