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"Orphan" Prequel Director Addresses Still Using Adult Fuhrman as Esther


One of the appreciated cult horror movies of the 21st century is the understated 2009 film Orphan which stars Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard as a couple that adopt a seemingly normal 9-year-old named Esther, who was played by the 12-year-old actress Isabelle Fuhrman. One of the most noted aspects of the film is the shocking twist ending that reveals Esther is actually a 33-year-old named Leena Klammer who escaped from an institute in Estonia. The film gained so much fandom that a prequel is being made titled Orphan: First Kill that is currently filming. Despite being a prequel, it was revealed, to everyone's shock, that Fuhrman would return. That, of course, led to the question: How were they going to convincingly make the now 24-year-old actress look 9 (or 12) again? As it turns out, the answer isn't as simple as CGI de-aging which has become a popular way to have older actors play their younger selves.

Sometimes...not to the best effect though this is an early example and it's come a long way.

While sitting down recently in an interview with The Boo Crew podcast (via Bloody Disgusting) about this film and his other upcoming film Separation, director William Brent Bell (who is replacing the first film's director, Jaume Collet-Serra) spoke about how this is being done. As it turns out, they're pulling out every trick in the book, both old and new:

“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. 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.”

The film will focus on the moment Leena escapes from that Estonian psychiatric facility and becomes Esther as she travels to the United States by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family before ultimately coming into conflict with the family's matriarch. The film currently has no release date. Stay tuned!

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