With a prequel film to 2009’s Orphan, titled Orphan: First Kill, in development, franchise newcomer Julia Stiles has explained how she was “floored” by Isabelle Fuhrman’s return as Esther.
“The working title was Esther, which I really liked, which is the name of the girl. What’s remarkable is that Isabelle Fuhrman, who played the little girl in the original Orphan, now reprises her role as the same girl, same age, even though Isabelle’s older now. … But I just went and did ADR … and I was floored. Because they didn’t use CGI. The tricks that they did with the camera and different perspective tricks that they had, plus her costume and prosthetics and all that, she looks like a child. And her performance is stunning, because she embodies a child too in the way that she talks and the way she walks,” Stiles said in an interview with Collider.
Although Stiles couldn’t discuss Orphan: First Kill in great detail, she did tease that fans of the first film will enjoy the upcoming prequel.
“I think fans of the first one will enjoy this one as well because there is a huge twist that I can’t give away, but it’s got all that crazy psychologically terrorizing stuff that the first one had,” Stiles continued. “Just this character that Isabelle plays, Esther or Leena or the multiple names that she has, it reminds me of why Norman Bates was so captivating. It’s just a sociopath, but in this child. So it was very fun to work on, for someone who doesn’t watch horror movies.”
In Orphan: First Kill, which is directed by William Brent Bell (The Boy) and written by David Coggeshall, Leena Klammer “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 (played by Julia Stiles) who will protect her family at any cost.”