While it’s far from uncommon for horror films to receive numerous sequels, prequels, spin-offs and more, 2009’s Orphan seemed like one which would remain standing alone – however, it was recently announced that this will not be the case.
The film, which tells the story of a family who adopts a 9-year old Russian orphan named Esther, relies fairly heavily on an intense twist which completely re-frames the entire story. (If you do not wish to be spoiled regarding the nature of Orphan’s twist, it is recommended that you stop reading here).
Near the end of Orphan, the family discovers that “Esther” is actually Lena Klammer, an adult woman who had escaped from an Estonian mental institution. William Brent Bell, who has previously directed horror films including The Devil Inside, Wer,and The Boy, has signed on to direct a prequel which will tell the story of Klammer’s escape from the facility and reveal how she came up with the plan to adopt the identity of “Esther” in the first place. Writer David Coggeshall is responsible for the script, which was originally titled Esther but has now been renamed Orphan: First Kill.
Recently, it was announced that Isabelle Fuhrman, who had starred in the original Orphan, would return in the role of Esther / Lena Klammer. As Furhman is significantly older and taller than she was when filming Orphan, the film crew will make use of “forced perspective,” a technique which was also used to create the short heights of the Hobbit and Dwarf characters in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It is currently unknown whether any other cast members from the original Orphan will return, but actress Julia Stiles (Bourne franchise, Silver Linings Playbook) has been cast in a currently unnamed role.
Filming for Orphan: First Kill has reportedly begun in Winnipeg, Canada. No release date has been announced at this time.