In 2009, production company Dark Castle Entertainment released, backed by a star-studded lineup headed by Leonardo DiCaprio as producer, the psychological thriller Orphan. As the title may indicate, the film follows the story of an American couple who adopts a 5 year old orphan girl from Russia named Esther, only to find out in rather sinister fashion that this young girl is not who the family signed up for. The film was well received, quadrupling the $20 million budget it was allocated, and was seemingly integral in the renaissance we have witnessed in the horror genre as a number of new horror films and franchises have been birthed in the past decade and change. Now, Dark Castle Entertainment and Warner Brothers Pictures, distributors of the original Orphan, are teaming up again to produce another film in the Orphan franchise, Orphan: First Kill.
Some familiar faces will be returning for the prequel, with some new faces jumping aboard for the prequel. Instead of Jaume Collet-Serra returning to direct the prequel, William Brent Bell, director of The Devil Inside and The Boy, will be taking the director’s chair this time around. However Isabelle Fuhrman, who played the orphan Esther in the original film, will be returning to reprise her role despite the 11 years the film has aged. With Dark Castle Entertainment at the helm of the next film once again it is safe to assume that much of the production team from the original film will be returning to work on the prequel and hopefully match the energy of the original.
With the prequel set to take place 11 years prior to the original Orphan film, it isn’t entirely clear what direction the new film is set to take. It was revealed through the course of the original film that the orphan, spoiler alert, was not actually 5 years old, but in her thirties, providing some potential perspective. Will the prequel follow Esther as she endeavors to take over another family’s lives, or will it tell the story of how Esther became the deranged orphan she is notorious for being? Production is reportedly already under way in Winnipeg, so the answer to these questions and many more may be coming sooner than we expected.