If Nell Tiger Free looks as if she’s about to be swallowed whole in this image, you’re not wrong. It was last year that we learned of a prequel to the 1976 horror classic, The Omen, from 20th Century Studios and director Arkasha Stevenson. Well, now we have our first official look at the cleverly-titled The First Omen, along with news that it will open in theaters on April 5th 2024, a date that Disney had been holding on to throughout the recent strikes.
The film stars Nell Tiger Free (Servant), along with Tawfeek Barhom (Mary Magdalene), Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Ralph Ineson (The Northman) and Bill Nighy (Living). Stevenson directed and co-wrote the script with Keith Thomas and Tim Smith.
Free is no stranger to creepy projects, having starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant through four seasons, and it was her performance in that which reportedly won her the role.
Here’s the synopsis: When a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.
The original film starred Gregory Peck and centered on a young American boy, Damien Thorne, who is found to be the Antichrist after a series of violent deaths and mysterious occurrences. Made on a budget of less than $3M, The Omen was a huge hit with $60M worldwide. It led to a trio of sequels that were not as well-received, and one remake in 2006 that is really terrible despite Julia Stiles’ best efforts.
Can The First Omen bring this classic franchise back to prominence? We’ll find out in just a few months.