With his sequel set to open this weekend, STX’s Brahms: The Boy II, William Brent Bell will next direct Esther, a prequel to to Warner Bros.’/Dark Castle’s 2009 genre pic Orphan for eOne. Sierra/Affinity is also launching sales at the Berlin Film Festival.
The prequel is written by David Coggeshall. In it, Lena Klammer orchestrates a brilliant escape from a Russian psychiatric facility and travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family. But Lena’s new life as “Esther” comes with an unexpected wrinkle and pits her against a mother who will protect her family at any cost. Filming is expected to start in the third quarter.
Bell also directed the first The Boy for STX. He is in the final stages of post-production on his next feature, Separation, a Brooklyn-set supernatural thriller starring Emmy Award nominee Rupert Friend and Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Brian Cox. His other credits include The Devil Inside, Wer and Stay Alive. He is represented by ICM Partners and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.
Dark Castle Entertainment’s Alex Mace, Hal Sadoff and Ethan Erwin will produce with James Tomlinson. David Leslie Johnson will serve as an executive producer and Jen Gorton and Josie Liang will oversee for eOne.
Coggeshall’s credits include Watch Over Me and PREY. He is represented by Writ Large and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
The first Orphan follows a husband and wife who in the wake of losing their baby, adopt a 9 year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be. The movie, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, starred Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther. Orphan opened to $12.8M domestic, finaled at $41.5M, and near $78M WW.