Because A&E can’t get enough of creepy children from classic movies, the network is bringing the newest remake of “The Omen” over from its sister station, Lifetime. Rebranded as “Damien,” the name of the child of Satan in the 1976 original, the new series has been bumped up to 10 episodes from the original six order.
Executive producer and writer Glen Mazzara, formerly of “The Walking Dead,” will bring the series to life with EPs Ross Fineman (“Lights Out”) and Pancho Mansfield (“Maron”). In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager at A&E and Lifetime, said the move was in direction with the two channels’ focuses. "Lifetime will always be female-focused, and A&E is more male skewing. Plus, A&E is a more intense drama brand ... But in both instances, I'm really just trying to set the quality bar higher."
“Damien” will follow the now grown anti-Christ (Bradley James from “Merlin,” “Homeland”) as he comes to terms with his Satanic past. Barbara Hershey (“Once Upon a Time”) will play a Satanic disciple looking to guide Damien to his destiny. Unlike “Bates Motel,” which runs like a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” “Damien” will work as a sequel to both “The Omen” and the lesser appreciated “Damien: Omen II” from 1978.
This will be the channel’s second such spin-off from popular horror movie lore. A&E’s “Bates Motel” is currently in its third season as it follows the wonderfully weird tale of Norman Bates and his mother Norma. No word yet if the channel’s creepy series, “The Returned,” is coming back for a second season. The remake of the popular French TV show recounts the zombie-like reappearance of the dead as they try to rejoin small town life.
In the 1976 original film, “The Omen,” Gregory Peck and Lee Remick star as parents who unwittingly adopt the son of Satan. Now five, Damien appears to be the reason behind of many unexplained deaths near the family. The movie was remade in 2006 starring Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber.
“Damien” is set to begin production later this year on A&E.