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‘Orphan: First Kill’: Director William Brent Bell on Bringing Esther Back for an “Extremely Violent” Prequel

As we learned last year, Orphan star Isabelle Fuhrman will be reprising the role of Esther in a prequel to Jaume Collet-Serra’s 2009 film that’s currently titled Orphan: First Kill, and filming recently wrapped up on the project. William Brent Bell (The Boy, Separation) directed First Kill, and he teases the upcoming film in a new chat with BD’s Boo Crew Podcast.

For starters, how exactly is Isabelle Fuhrman, who’s now 24 years old, going to play Esther on screen again, a character who looks like a child despite actually being an adult woman?

“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,” Brent Bell explains the process to the Boo Crew. “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 continues, “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.”

Brent Bell also teased the overall tone of the upcoming prequel.

The movie has a very childlike quality in some ways, but it’s also extremely violent at other times. 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.”

We’re right in the final stages of finishing the movie,” he adds.

You can listen to The Boo Crew’s full chat with William Brent Bell below.

In Orphan: First Kill, “Leena Klammer (aka Esther) orchestrates a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility and travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family. But Leena’s new life as “Esther” comes with an unexpected wrinkle and pits her against a mother who will protect her family at any cost.”