James will be a grown-up Damien, who “must now come to terms with his true destiny – that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages”. Yes, that means that Omen III didn’t happen in this verse, but that’s okay. It’s best for us all if Lifetime and 20th Century Fox, the producers, don’t even try to come close to the awesomeness that was Sam Neill in the original sequel.
James, 31, might be an unusual choice for some; his baby-faced innocence may seem unfitting for a role as the epitome of evil. I think that’s in his favour though, Damien is meant to be a deceiver and fraud, and where else can evil hide best then behind a seemingly virtuous appearance?
When I first heard that a six-episode miniseries was being written I was excited but apprehensive; Damien Thorn is such an all-inclusive role needing pathos, vulnerability and evil that I thought the casting director would have quite a chore on their hands. However, James is perfect for the role and I’m really looking forward to his take on one of my favourite movie characters.
The mini-series also has a director (at least for the first episode); Golden Globe-nominated Shekhar Kapur. This will be the television debut for Kapur, whose big-screen credits include Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. As well as helming the first episode, Kapur will executive-produce it as well.
Glen Mazzara of The Walking Dead, is writing and executive producing Damien. Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Lifetime, said of him, “we are thrilled to be bringing a contemporary version of The Omen‘s Damien Thorn back to the screen… Glen Mazzara has re-imagined him as a dark, romantic, anti-hero and this fresh take blends complex characters with premium storytelling to make something truly original.”
Damien will air on Lifetime sometime early next year. 4YE will bring you news as soon as it happens; as fans of James and Damien we just cannot wait for the series to arrive.