I picked the still out of the stills pack because it struck a chord with me. When you looked at this still, you knew somehow that whatever is about to happen inside that house is not going to be good! I adapted it with Dick Knipe for the final poster, taking a lot of the detail out of it and turning it into a design, and after that no one wanted to see anything else. I’d been specifically told by William Friedkin and Warner Bros. that we mustn’t use an image of the girl possessed, or show anything that had any hint of religious connotation to it. They were concerned about that. Friedkin was very involved, he was there all the time. For the other ideas, we shot some specially posed photographs which are not from the movie: the open door and something going on inside - you just see the hand; the girl on the bed; the girl smiling. But Friedkin and Warners rejected all of them, told me to chuck them out. They certainly picked the right image, which was used all over the world. And the movie became the biggest hit in Warners’ history.
— Bill Gold, on designing the poster for The Exorcist.