Orphan, the trashy, wonderful horror movie about a murderous 30-something woman posing as a 9-year-old child, has a prequel on the way called Orphan: First Kill. That’s weird enough on its own, but it’s even weirder when you realize that star Isabelle Fuhrman is reprising her role even though she’s much older now. It’s not entirely clear just yet how the film is going to sell this idea, but according to Furhman, the end results are going to shock audiences.
Released in 2009, Orphan was helmed by art-trash genius Jaume Collet-Serra. It starred modern-day scream queen Vera Farmiga, as well as Peter Sarsgaard and Isabelle Fuhrman. In the film, Farmiga and Sarsgaard play a married couple who recently lost their third child during childbirth. Determined to have one more kid in their lives, the couple decides to adopt. The child they adopt is Esther (Furhman), a 9-year-old girl from Russia.
At first, Esther seems like the perfect child. She’s well behaved, intelligent, artistically talented, and overly pleasant. She charms her new parents from the get-go. But Orphan is a horror movie, and soon it’s revealed that Esther isn’t so innocent. In fact, she’s downright homicidal. Killer kid movies are a staple in the horror genre, but Orphan throws in a whopper of a twist. Esther isn’t a child at all. She’s a 33-year-old woman with hypopituitarism, a rare hormonal disorder that stunted her physical growth and caused proportional dwarfism. She’s spent most of her life in an insane asylum, and when she’s not doing that, she’s posing as a child to infiltrate unsuspecting families.
While I admit this all sounds very silly, Orphan is a total blast, and one of my all-time favorite horror flicks. I revisit it every Halloween season. And now, it’s getting a prequel.
How is Orphan: First Kill Even Possible?
A sequel wouldn’t be possible because (spoiler alert) Esther dies at the end of Orphan. So we’re getting a prequel called Orphan: First Kill, directed by The Boy filmmaker William Brent Bell and co-starring Julia Styles, with a script by David Coggeshall.
But a prequel seems like a very strange idea. For one thing, we already know the twist – Esther isn’t a kid, she’s an adult. For another, Isabelle Fuhrman is reprising her role as Esther. Furhman was 12 when she shot Orphan, so it was easy for her to pass as a child passing as an adult. But the actress is 24 now, which is bound to make things a little difficult. But according to Furhman, that’s all part of Orphan: First Kill‘s plan.
“[First Kill is] definitely not what I think most people will expect, which I think is really exciting and what really drew me to even coming back to play that role,” Furhman told Collider:
“And also, what I think is most exciting about it is it’s something that’s never been done cinematically. There’s never been an adult actress who reprised a role she played as child. And that was exceptionally difficult and really fun to do, because when I was a kid and I played Esther, I was constantly playing a 33-year-old hiding herself as a kid while I was also 10, and this time, it was like, ‘here’s a little weight off my shoulders,’ since I just have to pretend I’m 10, because I’m already an adult.”
Furhman added: “I think people will be shocked by that story. It’s very different from what most people would expect and [Julia Stiles] is absolutely incredible in it, and we had a lot of fun making the movie together. It’s definitely a story about the two of us and our relationship, and Esther’s way that she came to the United States and how she found herself there.”
In Orphan: First Kill, “Leena Klammer (aka Esther) orchestrates a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility and travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family. But Leena’s new life as ‘Esther’ comes with an unexpected wrinkle and pits her against a mother who will protect her family at any cost.”
I love the first movie so much that I’ll definitely be checking First Kill out, although I’d feel a lot better if Jaume Collet-Serra were directing again. Oh well. Orphan: First Kill doesn’t have a release date just yet, but stay tuned.
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