Fans of the horror film Orphan were thrilled to find out a new chapter in the story was being told, though when it was revealed to be a prequel, and with original star Isabelle Fuhrman returning a decade later to play an already-young character, fans were left to wonder how the production would pull off the visual trickery. Director William Brent Bell recently discussed the new film Orphan: First Kill with Bloody Disgusting, detailing that the project embraced old-school techniques to convince viewers that the actress could effectively pass for a child. Orphan: First Kill does not yet have a release date.
"For me, it's like, we know the secret of the first film, so the fun of bringing Isabelle Fuhrman back into the role – which was a whole process to get approved – that is a challenge in and of itself," Bell shared with the Boo Crew podcast. "And likewise, not doing modern CGI… I mean, we use digital, we use CGI to help us… but not to create her at all. It's all old school techniques: forced perspective, camera angles, where we put the light."
He added, "That's a character that I love so much [and] I really want to be respectful to the audience who love that first film, and expand on who she is as a character. To be able to kind of understand her better. But at the same time have as much fun with her as we did in the first movie… and then some. And to have it be Isabelle again… it's so cool."
The original 2009 film starred Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard as parents who adopt the nine-year-old Esther (Fuhrman), who goes on to demonstrate bizarre behavior, leading to the reveal that, rather than being a child, she's an adult woman with primordial dwarfism and is merely exploiting families for her own gain.
Fans will surely appreciate that, despite the advances of CGI resulting in a number of actors in different movies and TV shows being de-aged, Bell found a different want to approach the challenge.
The filmmaker also went on to tease that the prequel will feature a blend of playful innocence and intense violence.
"The movie has a very childlike quality in some ways, but it's also extremely violent at other times," Bell expressed. "Because she's a violent psychopath. The movie is turning out just awesome. [Esther] is this very romantic person who so much wants love and then when she doesn't get it, a different side of her comes out. And it's brutal. So the movie really plays both of those sides really well. So it has a really big heart for her, but it also has a real… super dark side."
While the film might not have an official release date, Bell confirmed, "We're right in the final stages of finishing the movie."
Stay tuned for details on Orphan: First Kill.
Are you looking forward to the new film? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!