Cult Horror Hit Orphan Is Getting A Prequel, And A Surprise Star Is Returning

Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan

Orphan may not have made the biggest splash in 2009, especially compared to other horror fare from that year, like Saw VI or The Final Destination, but in the years following its release, it’s become a cult favorite. Now Orphan fans will get the opportunity to revisit this spooky world soon, as a prequel is currently being shot, and it’s bringing back a familiar face from the last movie.

Having originally been announced back in February, Orphan: First Kill, which is being produced by Dark Castle Entertainment and Entertainment One, is in the midst of principal photography up in Winnipeg, with William Brent Bell from The Boy franchise sitting in the director’s chair and David Coggeshall handling scripting duties. According to Deadline, Isabelle Fuhrman will be reprising her role of Esther from the original Orphan. She will be joined by Bourne franchise star Julia Stiles, whose character wasn’t identified.

Before going further, let’s provide some context for those who haven’t seen Orphan or haven’t watched it in a long time. The movie followed a couple who adopt a 9-year-old Russian girl named Esther, who immediate starts demonstrating strange and violent behavior. It’s eventually revealed that Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer who has a condition called hypopituitarism that stunned her growth, resulting in her posing as a little girl and bouncing around from family to family.

Orphan ended with Esther/Leena’s death, but as mentioned earlier, Orphan: First Kill will wind the clock back to show how her murderous rampage began. Specifically, the prequel will chronicle Leena escaping from an Estonian psychiatric facility and making her way to the United States by impersonating the missing daughter from a wealthy family. Once stateside, Leena sets up her Esther identity, and she soon finds herself clashing with a mother who is desperate to keep her family safe at all costs (I suspect Julia Stiles is playing that mother).

It’s also worth mentioning that Isabelle Fuhrman was 10 years old when Orphan was shooting, so needless to say she’s grown quite a bit 13 years later. Deadline’s report mentioned that the Orphan: First Kill filmmakers are “utilizing a combination of forced perspective shooting and a world-class makeup team” to make the actress look just like the Esther we remember from over a decade ago.

Following her time on Orphan, Isabelle Fuhrman appeared in movies like The Hunger Games, After Earth and Cell, as well as recurred on the Showtime series Masters of Sex. Along with Orphan: First Kill, she’s also set to appear in Escape Room 2. So Fuhrman is keeping a steady foothold in the horror world.

Orphan: First Kill doesn’t have an assigned release date yet, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for that information and more updates on its progress. Learn what movies are intended to come out next year with our 2021 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.