‘The First Omen’: Prequel to Classic Horror Film in the Works, Director Chosen

Twentieth Century Fox

The First Omen, a prequel to 1976 horror film The Omen, is now in the works at 20th Century Studios.

The studio has hired its director: Arkasha Stevenson, making her feature directorial debut following television series such as Legion, Briarpatch, Channel Zero: Buther’s Block, and Brand New Cherry Flavor. The First Omen will be produced by David S. Goyer and Keith Levine via their Phantom Four banner, with Phantom Four’s Gracie Wheelan in overseeing capacity.

As first reported by Deadline, Stevenson is also going to be behind the project’s screenplay rewrite, working alongside writing partner Tim Smith. Stevenson and Smith previously collaborated on short film Pineapple, which was later sold as a concept for a series at AMC, and are both at work on an Amazon original project titled Beautiful Monsters.

Directed by the late Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon, The Goonies) and written by David Seltzer (Someone to Watch Over Me, Bird on a Wire, Dragonfly), The Omen told the story of a young boy, Damien Thorn, who appears to be connected to mysterious deaths. His father, an American ambassador, soon comes to learn that this boy is, in fact, the Antichrist. The cast included Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, and Harvey Stephens, among others.

Reviews were mixed when the film was first released, but it was nevertheless a big hit with audiences, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of ’76. The film also earned composer Jerry Goldsmith an Academy Award for his unnerving score. The picture’s success led to a franchise, including two sequels, Damien: Omen II in 1978 and Omen III: The Final Conflict in 1981, and a made-for-TV entry,1991’s Omen IV: The Awakening. A reboot – starring Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Mia Farrow, and David Thewlis – was released in 2006 to mixed reviews but a solid box office, raking in $US120 million worldwide from a budget of $U25 million. There was also a 2016 series, Damien, starring Bradley James as a now-adult version of the character. The show lasted one season.

Stay tuned as the new Omen rises…