There’s an Orphan prequel in the works that will see Isabelle Fuhrman reprise her as “Esther,” who be taking on Julia Stiles this time around.
William Brent Bell (The Boy) will direct Orphan: First Kill, which was written by David Coggeshall. The story finds Leena Klammer, who posed as 9-year-old Esther Coleman in the first film, orchestrating a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility and traveling to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family. As Leena slips back into life as “Esther,” an unexpected wrinkle arises that pits her against a mother (Stiles) who will protect her family at any cost.
Jaume Collet-Serra directed 2009’s Orphan, which starred Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga as new parents who suffer and tragic loss and take in a young girl from Eastern Europe who isn’t quite what she appears to be. I had a blast with the outlandish twists and turns of Orphan, and so did many others, as it grossed nearly $80 million worldwide on a reported production budget of just $20 million.
Orphan: First Kill is a co-production between Entertainment One and Dark Castle Entertainment, and the film will be produced by Dark Castle’s Alex Mace, Hal Sadoff and Ethan Erwin, as well as James Tomlinson. Meanwhile, original Orphan scribe David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick will executive produce alongside Jen Gorton and Fuhrman will serve as an associate producer on the project, which Josie Liang will oversee on behalf of eOne.
Deadline reports that production is already under way in Winnipeg, and that Bell will utilize the film’s world-class makeup team and some forced perspective camera angles to help Fuhrman realize her performance despite having aged 11 years since the first film. She has thrived since Orphan catapulted her to stardom, having appeared in The Hunger Games franchise and the acclaimed Showtime series Masters of Sex. Fuhrman next stars in Escape Room 2, which Sony is expected to release in January.
Stiles has battled evil “children” before, having starred in the 2006 remake of The Omen, though she’s best remembered in my book as the star of 10 Things I Hate About You and the underrated teen thriller O. Her additional credits include Hustlers, Silver Linings Playbook and Showtime’s Dexter, and she currently stars on the TV series Riviera, which she also executive produces.
Collet-Serra doesn’t appear to be involved in this prequel, having moved on to direct Jungle Cruise for Disney, and you can click here for the scoop on Metallica’s contributions to the score for that upcoming adventure film.