The creepy trailer for The First Omen — a prequel to 1976's The Omen — just dropped and promises “something to fear.” Directed by Arkasha Stevenson, The First Omen stars Nell Tiger Free, Tawfeek Barhom, Sônia Braga, Bill Nighy, and Ralph Ineson.
The official description of the 20th Century Studios film reads: “When a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.”
Before Gregory Peck's character unknowingly adopted the Antichrist in the form of a young child named Damien in The Omen, IndieWire reports that there was “a Vatican-adjacent conspiracy to bring the Devil to Earth.” The Omen spawned three sequels — Damien: Omen II, Omen III: The Final Conflict, and Omen IV: The Awakening — a 2006 remake imaginatively titled The Omen, and the TV series Damien.
The First Omen Filmmakers Hope to Scare the Bejesus Out of Audiences
The late '60s and '70s were a time of satanic panic, which helped movies such as Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, and The Omen scare up a lot of box office dollars. Fast-forward to 2023 and “requels” such as The Exorcist: Believer failed to generate the same interest as its predecessors. Whether the influence of organized religion — especially the Catholic church — has waned or audiences are scared by other things going on in the world, Satan isn't the box office draw he once was. Still, successful horror movies such as those in The Conjuring franchise — including the two The Nun movies — prove that the devil is in the details with regard to making a scary religious movie that audiences want to see.
The First Omen is the feature-film directorial debut of Arkasha Stevenson, who previously helmed several short films as well as episodes of visually arresting TV series such as Legion, Brand New Cherry Flavor, and Channel Zero. According to the official The First Omen production notes, the prequel is based on characters created by David Seltzer (The Omen), with a story by Ben Jacoby (Bleed) and a screenplay by Tim Smith, Stevenson, and Keith Thomas (Firestarter).
The First Omen screams into theaters nationwide on April 5, 2024.