Orphan Prequel: Julia Stiles compares Esther to Norman Bates

“The script was so damn good that I couldn’t take it off.”

As a die-hard genre fan who always tries to attract more fans, I am always thrilled to hear about a horror film that attracts horror lovers, and also those who are usually not interested in the genre. Based on what Julia Stiles had to say about a recent episode of Collider Ladies NightIt seems like this is imminent orphan Prequel, Orphan: First killwill have this quality.

The news of the project was first published in November 2020, when filming was already in progress. William Brent Bell stepped in to direct the film bringing back Isabelle Fuhrman as Leena, a 33-year-old woman who in the original from 2009 posed as nine-year-old Esther Coleman. The prequel reportedly covers what happens when Leena escapes an Estonian mental health facility and poses as the missing daughter of a wealthy family. And now this is where Stiles’ character comes in. In the USA, Leena, posing as “Esther”, competes against a mother (Stiles) who does everything necessary to protect her family.

Julia Stiles on the Riviera

Image via Sundance Now

During the Collider Ladies Night for the premiere of the second season of Riviera On Ovation TV, Stiles took a moment to highlight what forced her to get involved with Orphan: First Kill, despite not being the biggest genre fanatic and also having concerns about getting back to work during the pandemic:

“I don’t watch horror films and when the script was sent to me I said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t like this genre. ‘And I was also very concerned about going back to work after COVID. And the script was so damn good I couldn’t take it off and I was so surprised by the twist that I won’t reveal it that I think you will like it. ”

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Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan

Image via Warner Bros.

To get into the details, I asked Stiles what made this orphan prequel so appealing to them that many other horror films don’t. This is what she said:

“It’s incredibly psychological. I don’t really care about blood and blood. I think it’s gross, but I don’t find it really scary. What I find scary is the stuff that’s going on up here. And Isabelle Fuhrman’s character Esther – although she has multiple names, Leena, I don’t know – is just so fascinating – especially now that she’s grown up. She is 23 and now plays the same role. It’s just such an intriguing sociopathic character, how Norman Bates was so interesting to see. ”

Orphan: First Kill reportedly packed the main photography back in December. Hopefully we’ll announce an official release date soon, if not a first look at the film.

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About the author

Perri Nemiroff
(2607 articles published)

Perri Nemiroff has been part of the Collider team since 2012. She is co-host of Collider FYC, The Witching Hour, and host of the Collider Ladies Night interview series. Perri is a proud graduate of Columbia University’s Film MFA program and a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Perri divides her time between Los Angeles and New York, but devotes every waking hour to her cat, Deputy Dewey.

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