The Omen‘s upcoming prequel, First Omen, has its star in Nell Tiger Free. Deadline reports that Free will play the currently-unspecified lead of 20th Century‘s First Omen, the studio’s first theatrical entry in the venerable supernatural horror franchise in over fifteen years; how soon before the original film this prequel will take place, and what characters it will follow, remain under wraps. It will be directed by first-time feature director Arkasha Stevenson.
Free is no stranger to supernatural horror and eerie children, having starred as sinister nanny Leanne Grayson on Apple TV+‘s Servant. In addition to her breakout role on the series, the fourth and final season of which has just wrapped filming, Free can also be seen in the British sci-fi thriller Settlers and the Nicholas Winding Refn miniseries Too Old to Die Young.
Directed by Richard Donner, The Omen was a smash hit in 1976, riding a wave of Satanic and supernatural-themed blockbusters like Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror. It centered around American diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), his wife Kathy (Lee Remick), and their young son, Damien. Misfortune, horror, and a series of gruesome deaths seem to follow the boy, leading Robert to discover the boy is the Antichrist – he even bears a birthmark resembling the number 666. Two theatrical sequels, 1978’s Damien: Omen II and 1981’s Omen III: The Final Conflict, followed Damien’s coming of age to diminishing box office returns; a fourth sequel, 1991’s Omen IV: The Awakening, was made for TV. The original was remade in 2006 (and released, naturally, on June 6) with Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber, to mixed reviews. It was a moderate hit, grossing $120 million, but the franchise hasn’t been seen in theaters since; Damien, a TV series following an adult Damien Thorn rediscovering his heritage, aired for one season on A&E in 2016 before being canceled.
First Omen will be Stevenson‘s first feature; she has directed episodes of Channel Zero, Legion, and Brand New Cherry Flavor. She will also write the script alongside writing partner Tim Smith. Smith will executive produce, with David S. Goyer and Keith Levine producing for their production company, Phantom Four; Phantom Four‘s other upcoming productions include the David Bruckner-helmed Hellraiser reboot and the second season of Apple‘s Foundation series. Gracie Whelan will oversee for the production label.
There is currently no release date or window for First Omen.