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In the movie The Exorcist III, Damien Karras is referred to a couple of times as having died in 1975, once in dialogue and once in this snapshot of his gravestone at the end of the movie.

image of the gravestone described above

The first Exorcist was released in 1973, and typically in movies that have a character who has recently died, the makers' will express the character having died a year or two before the release date of the movie.

But in The Exorcist III, Damien Karras is said to have died two years after the first movie was made.

Was this an oversight on the part of the makers of Exorcist III or intentional? I'd think it would have to be intentional, as Blatty wrote the book that jump-started the franchise, and he directed and wrote this installment.

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    I’m confused. In the first movie, The Exorcist, Damien Karras is not a character who has recently died. He’s one of the main living characters in the story. The events of Karras’ death could have taken place in 1975, right? Commented May 28, 2023 at 23:42
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    @ToddWilcox Karass dies at the end of the first movie, and Exorcist III uses that as a starting point. So AFAICT the question is why the makers of III moved the ending of I forward by two years
    – Kevin Troy
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 0:48
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    @ToddWilcox I can’t recall exactly but I’m pretty sure the first movie explicitly takes place in ‘73 — maybe there’s a newspaper cover in a shot or someone mentions President Nixon or something like that? It’s possible that “15 years ago” was used in early drafts of the script and they never updated to account for the time spent in development. Or, it might be a deliberate signal to fans that the continuity has changed — Exorcist II did not happen and they are playing games with the circumstances of Karras’s death
    – Kevin Troy
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 1:09
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    @ToddWilcox "Despite The Exorcist being released in 1973, there's no reason why the events of it couldn't take place in 1975." Of course it couldn't have taken place in 1975, if for no other reason but that the film shows 1972-3 fashions, cars, et cetera. A lot changes in a couple of years. And it would be unconventional for a movie striving for realism, as the first Exorcist does, to show an out-of-sequence death date. The Exorcist was released in 1973 but shooting started in August 1972, so I'd expect Karras' to have died in 1971 or 1972.
    – whitewings
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 6:11
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    @ToddWilcox 2001 is a lame comparison. Sci-fi movies are not striving for realism of the present, but of the future. Stranger Things is another lame comparison, as it's trying to depict accurately an era 3+ decades ago.
    – whitewings
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 18:11

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