Orphan: First Kill director William Brent Bell explains how they de-aged 24-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman to play a 9-year-old Esther in the prequel.
Orphan: First Kill director William Brent Bell explains how they de-aged Isabelle Fuhrman for the Orphan prequel movie. Bell started getting more attention as a director after directing 2016’s The Boy and the sequel Brahms: The Boy II in 2020. The director’s next project is Orphan: First Kill, which acts as a prequel to the 2009 film starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Fuhrman.
The original Orphan directed by Jaume Collet-Serra was based on a true story and focused on a family that adopts a 9-year-old named Esther. The movie’s big twist comes when the family finds out that Esther has been posing as a little girl but is actually a murderous 33-year-old who escaped from an institute in Estonia. Fuhrman was only 12 when Orphan came out in 2009, which allowed her to successfully pull off the look of a 9-year-old. However, it came as a bit of a surprise last year when it was announced the actress, now in her 20s, would return as Esther in a prequel.
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Bell recently sat down to talk about Orphan: First Kill and his upcoming film Separation for The Boo Crew podcast (via Bloody Disgusting). In the interview, Bell explained the techniques they used to make Fuhrman appear younger. Rather than using straight CGI, the crew used old-school methods. Bell’s full explanation can be read below:
“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.”
Even though Orphan: First Kill is in post-production at this point, there has yet to be any official marketing material released for the film. Fuhrman previously shared photos from the set of the Orphan prequel showing her character covered in blood to announce that filming was nearly finished. Last year, plot details for Orphan: First Kill were released, which revealed the prequel will show how Lena Klammer escaped from the Russian hospital and take on the identity of Esther in America. Orphan: First Kill doesn’t yet have a release date, but it is only a matter of time before more information on the prequel is released.
2009’s Orphan did surprisingly well at the box office and did generally well with critics despite some controversy regarding adoption. Orphan: First Kill has the potential to continue that success, but how Fuhrman planned to pull off the look of a child when she was in her 20s was a point of concern. The original Orphan had to use these effects to make Fuhrman appear older than she was, so it’s interesting that the same effects will now be used to make her appear much younger. Several blockbusters like Captain America: Civil War and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have attempted to digitally de-age characters with unsettling results. This technology clearly still isn’t perfect, so it’s a bit of a relief to know that Orphan: First Kill won’t feature a CGI character for a large portion of the prequel.
More: Orphan: Why The Horror Movie Angered Real Adoption Groups
Source: The Boo Crew (via Bloody Disgusting)
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