August 25, 2014 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Glen Mazzara's 'Omen' Follow-Up 'Damien' Ordered Straight to Series at Lifetime
Lifetime has greenlighted Mazzara's The Omen follow-up Damien with a six-episode straight-to-series pickup, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From Mazzara and exec producers Ross Fineman and Pancho Mansfield, the Fox Television Studios drama is based on 20th Century Fox's 1976 feature The Omen. The series follows the adult life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from the 1976 film, who has grown up, seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny — that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.
"We are thrilled to be bringing a contemporary version of The Omen's Damien Thorn back to the screen," said Lifetime executive vp and GM Rob Sharenow. "Glen Mazzara has reimagined him as a dark, romantic anti-hero, and this fresh take blends complex characters with premium storytelling to make something truly original."
Added FTVS senior vp programming Nancy Cotton: "The Omen is a jewel in the crown of the Fox features library; we're gratified and eager to bring a new iteration of Damien and this iconic story to television — and to a new audience — through the vision of Glen Mazzara."
The drama, which will bow in 2015, hails from Mazzara's 44 Strong Productions. Damien, first put in development in May, was the writer-producer's first sale under his overall deal with Fox Television Studios. Fineman (Lights Out) developed the drama alongside Mazzara and will exec produce via his Fineman Entertainment. Mansfield will also exec produce. All three have first-look deals with the studio.
The original film, from writer David Seltzer and director Richard Donner, starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as parents whose son dies at birth and instead secretly adopt an orphan whose mother died at the same time — only they eventually learn that the child, Damien (played by Harvey Spencer Stephens), is the Antichrist. It grossed more than $60 million domestically and spawned two sequels — 1978's Damien: Omen II and Omen II: The Final Conflict in 1981. TV movies Omen IV: The Awakening (1991) and The Omen (1995) followed. The latter was produced by and aired on Fox in a bid to grow the franchise into a TV series. Donner was attached as an executive producer but the series did not move forward. Seltzer in 2005 revamped his novel for The Omen into a 2005 NBC miniseries starring Bill Pullman called Revelations. The flagship film was remade in 2006 and starred Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber and Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien. The remake grossed nearly $120 million worldwide.
For Lifetime, Damien marks a dramatic shift from the typically female-skewing fare the cable network has become known for. The cabler more recently has been pushing further into the increasingly popular genre territory with witchy drama Witches of East End, now in its second season, and with dystopian thriller The Lottery. It joins a roster of scripted fare including Devious Maids and the upcoming Unreal. On the pilot side, the network is prepping Nicholas Sparks back-door pilot Deliverance Creek and Clan of the Cave Bear.
Mazzara, whose TV credits also include Starz's Crash, is repped by CAA. For the big screen, Mazzara is writing Overlook Hotel, a prequel to Stephen King's horror classic, The Shining.