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Damien – Poster Art

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Damien

Here’s the official trailer for A&E’s upcoming TV series Damien, which quite literally follows the events after the 1976 psychological horror film The Omen. The trailer features many links the original, including footage from the film.

“Fans of that first movie will also be interested in finding out where Damien’s been for those missing 25 years since the last time we saw him when he was a boy and meeting him now,” showrunner Glen Mazzara told The Hollywood Reporter HERE

“I think ‘Damien’ is cutting-edge material,” he adds. “It’s trying to push the boundaries as far as violence and horror go. There’s a lot of really great drama on TV and that was not the case in 1976 when the film came out. So the bar is set so high given other great horror shows that are on TV. We have our work cut out for us; everybody is really interested in pushing the boundaries. I think we’ve got a few episodes that people are going to be talking about.”

Mazzara also reveals this is a conspiracy thriller:

“This really has a high-level of conspiracy. It plays as a conspiracy thriller because everybody wants Damien on their side or eliminated. There are a lot of different groups vying to either control him or eliminate him. There’s a thriller aspect to it, which is tricky and something that I haven’t done before and that comes directly out of the original film.”

But how will this work as a long-running television series? He explains:

“The antichrist is supposed to bring about the apocalypse, so the end game is exactly that. An end game with a capital E and a capital G. So it’s a question of if he fails — if he succeeds as the antichrist — he destroys the world. If he succeeds as preventing it, he saves the world, so the stakes are very high here. That’s a long story to tell.”

The ten-episode “Damien” follows the adult life of Damien Thorn (Bradley James), the mysterious child from the 1976 film who has grown up, seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny — that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.


Billie Whitelaw R.I.P.

The-Omen_Mrs-Baylock_Billie-WhitelawAcclaimed actress Billie Whitelaw, famous for her roles in films including The Omen, has died at the age of 82.

During her career, she won a British Academy Award for best newcomer for her role in Hell is a City. There were also Baftas for her performance opposite Albert Finney in Charlie Bubbles and for her role as the mother of Hayley Mills in the psychological thriller, Twisted Nerve in 1969.

Whitelaw won much acclaim, and an international audience, for her portrayal of Mrs Baylock, the guardian of the demon child Damien in The Omen. Many critics felt she gave the best performance in the film and it won her an Evening Standard Award for Best Actress.

She also won praise for her role as the domineering mother of the Kray twins in the 1990 film, The Krays and more recently appeared in comedy Hot Fuzz.

The Coventry-born star, who was made a CBE in 1991, worked in close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, who described her as a perfect actress. But in her autobiography, Billie Whitelaw . . . Who He? she said it was her work with Beckett that generated most interest. Without their association, she wrote, “nobody would have been remotely interested in my autobiography.”

Omen-Bille-Whitelaw-Gregory-Peck-1976By this time she had given up theatre performances, partly because of Beckett’s death and also because of her failure to conquer her stage fright. “Death’s not one of those things that frighten the life out of me,” she once said. “Getting up on stage with the curtain going up frightens me more.”

She did continue to act in films, she appeared in more than 50 during her career, and on television. Billie Whitelaw was the most natural of performers, who made a speciality of playing independent, and sometimes dominant women.

But she didn’t take her profession that seriously seeing it, as she put it, something which paid the parking tickets, which she habitually collected. “I’m not really interested in acting anymore,” she said in a 1996 interview. “It’s not the centre of my life. I always thought it was a bit of a flibbertigibbety occupation.”


Damien – Casting News

The-Omen_la-profecia_1976_8In news that is only mildly interesting to me because I recently rewatched the original The Omen film, it was announced that Merlin star Bradley James has landed the title role in Damien, Lifetime’s straight-to-series drama follow-up to 20th Century Fox’s classic horror film The Omen. In his TV directing debut, Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) will helm and executive produce the first episode.

Produced by Fox TV Studios, the six-episode Damien follows the adult life of Damien Thorn (James), the mysterious child from the 1976 film who has grown up, seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny — that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.

Damien, slated to premiere in 2015, is written and executive produced by Glen Mazzara via his 44 Strong Productions. Ross Fineman, who developed the project alongside Mazzara, executive produces through his Fineman Entertainment. Pancho Mansfield also serves as executive producer.

 


The Omen… Again

The-Omen_1976Former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara is sticking with horror for his next project.

Mazzara is developing a follow-up to the 1976 horror classic The Omen for Lifetime, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Titled Damien, the drama centres on Damien Thorn as an adult haunted by his past. Damien is faced with a series of macabre events and must finally face his true destiny: He is the Antichrist.

I may be missing something here but I thought we covered this with Damien: Omen II (1978) and Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981). There have been other less successful attempts over the years to keep the franchise going, the TV movies, Omen IV: The Awakening (1991) and The Omen (1995). The latter was an attempt to make a series… it failed.

Original writer David Seltzer rewrote his novel in 2005 for an NBC mini-series called Revelations. The original film was remade in 2006 starring Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles and Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick was a minor hit.

Mazzara is also in talks to write Overlook Hotel, a prequel to The Shining.


The Omen – Interviews

During the filming of The Omen, interviewer Mark Caldwell visited the set of the production and spoke to Gregory Peck. When the film was released he then spoke to the producer Harvey Bernard and the director Richard Donner.

Listen to those interviews HERE