The Omen (franchise)

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The Omen
Created byDavid Seltzer
Original workThe Omen
Owned by20th Century Studios
Print publications
Novel(s)
  • The Omen
  • Damien: Omen II
  • Omen III: The Final Conflict
  • Omen IV: Armageddon 2000
  • Omen V: The Abomination
Films and television
Film(s)
Television series

The Omen is a horror film franchise beginning in 1976. The story was originally written by David Seltzer, who chose not to continue the series after the first novel. After the third film was produced, a fourth was made-for-television in an attempt to revive the series, but it was received poorly.

The series centers on Damien Thorn, a child born of Satan and given to Robert and Katherine Thorn, before being passed along the Thorn families as a child. It is revealed among the families that Damien is in fact meant to be the Antichrist, and as an adult is attempting to gain control of the Thorn business and reach for the presidency.

Three documentaries regarding the series have been made: 666: The Omen - Revealed (2000), The Omen: Legacy (2001), and The Curse of The Omen (2005).

Films[edit]

The Omen is the original film in the series, directed by Richard Donner and written by David Seltzer. The story introduces Robert Thorn, the American Ambassador in Italy who adopts the newborn Damien to replace the newborn that he has been told was stillborn. When Damien reaches the age of five as Robert is transferred to Britain, strange events unfold, beginning with the boy's nanny committing suicide during his birthday party. Soon afterward Robert encounters Father Brennan, a Catholic priest who was present at Damien's birth, who attempts to warn him that the child would eventually kill him and his wife; Brennan soon dies, impaled by a falling church spire. Only after Robert's wife Katherine ends up hospitalized with a miscarriage does he come to believe Brennan; Robert and a photographer named Jennings then travel to Rome, where they learn that Damien is the Antichrist, and that the death of Robert's child was arranged so the Antichrist child could be raised by a politician. In the meantime, Katherine Thorn is murdered by Mrs. Baylock, Damien's second nanny, who in reality is a member of the Satanists who arranged Damien's upbringing, and will kill in order to suppress any threat to him. Arriving in Megiddo to find Bugenhagen, an exorcist and archaeologist, Robert is presented with the only means to kill Damien: the Seven Daggers of Megiddo. Though he initially refuses, it takes both the death of Jennings and discovering the Mark of the Beast on Damien's head to convince Robert to go through with it. But despite killing Mrs. Baylock after a struggle, Robert is killed by the authorities before he can kill Damien. Damien is then left in the care of his uncle, Richard Thorn.

The second film, Damien: Omen II, starts with Bugenhagen attempting to send Richard a package, but he and his friend Morris end up being buried alive in Megiddo.[1] The audience is then introduced to Richard's son Mark and his second wife Ann. Now a teenager, Damien attends military school alongside Mark while his subconscious, manifesting in the form of a raven, kills Richard's aunt Marion, Jennings's friend Joan Hart, and Thorn Industries manager Bill Atherton. Atherton's death is beneficial for senior manager Paul Buher, another member of the Satanist group Baylock was part of. Another member, Sgt. Neff, guides Damien to learn his true nature by advising him to read the Book of Revelation. Though fearful of it at first, unconsciously killing Dr. David Pasarian and a medical physician who tested his blood, Damien comes to accept his fate as he begins to consciously kill anyone who stands in his way, including his cousin Mark and Dr. Charles Warren. Though Richard accepted the truth upon receiving the Daggers of Megiddo from Bugenhagen's package, he is murdered by Ann; Damien then kills her, despite her being one of his disciples.[2]

The third film, Omen III: The Final Conflict, follows the adult Damien, now head of his uncle's company and arranging his position as American Ambassador in Britain to prevent the Second Coming—which would gradually weaken his powers—by having his followers slaughter every male British child born on March 24. Though he managed to kill six of the seven monks who each brandish a Dagger of Megiddo, their leader Father DeCarlo lives. Damien unknowingly causes his own downfall by his association with a journalist named Kate Reynolds who kills him at his moment of weakness. But as Damien's death did not occur in the manner that Bugenhagen learned, the Antichrist only suffered a temporary demise.[3]

In the fourth and final film of the original series, Omen IV: The Awakening, it is revealed that Damien's followers arranged for his biological daughter Delia to be adopted by two attorneys, Gene and Karen York. While nothing seems wrong at first, compared to her father, Delia is fully aware of her powers as she terrorizes her mother Karen. Karen finds herself pregnant and hires a detective to find out about Delia's lineage. A string of bizarre accidental deaths follows, before Karen gives birth to her son Alexander while falling into a paranoia as she tries to reveal her daughter's true identity. Though she learned that Delia is the daughter of Damien Thorn while holding her family doctor Hastings at gunpoint, upon learning he is a Satanist, Karen learns that the reborn Antichrist is actually Alexander: Delia's twin brother whose embryo was implanted into Karen. Though Karen adamantly wished to kill Alexander, she ended up committing suicide, leaving Alexander and Delia still alive to continue their birth father's work.[4]

The 2006 remake of the first film, also titled The Omen, was directed and produced by John Moore. Starring Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles, the film was met with mixed reviews but with general box office success. With a budget of $25 million, the film grossed $54 million domestic and $64 million in other territories, totalling $119 million.

In 2016, an Omen prequel was announced to be in the works, with Ben Jacoby writing the script and Antonio Campos in talks to direct.[5] No further informations about the project were made after the announcement.

Cast and crew[edit]

Cast[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in more than two films in the series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
  •  V indicates a voice-only role.
  •  Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Character Film Television series
The Omen Damien:
Omen II
Omen III:
The Final Conflict
Omen IV:
The Awakening
The Omen Damien
1976 1978 1981 1991 2006 2016
Damien Thorn Harvey Spencer Stephens Jonathan Scott-Taylor Sam Neill Mentioned Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick Bradley James
Harvey Spencer StephensAY
Robert Thorn Gregory Peck Mentioned Liev Schreiber Gregory PeckA
Carl Bugenhagen Leo McKern Michael Gambon Leo McKernA
Katherine Thorn Lee Remick Julia Stiles Lee RemickA
Mrs. Willa Baylock Billie Whitelaw Mia Farrow Billie WhitelawA
Keith Jennings David Warner David Thewlis David WarnerA
Father Brennan Patrick Troughton Pete Postlethwaite Patrick TroughtonA
Father Spiletto Martin Benson Giovanni Lombardo Radice Martin BensonA
Brother Matteus Tommy Duggan Tommy Duggan
U.S. President Gerald FordA Mason Adams
Ann Thorn (née Rutledge) Lee Grant Barbara Hershey
Richard Thorn William Holden
Paul Buher Robert Foxworth
Kate Reynolds Lisa Harrow
Father DeCarlo Rossano Brazzi
Harvey Pleydell Dean Don Gordon
Delia York Asia Vieira
Brianne Harrett
(3 years old)
Rebecca Cynader
(2 years old)
Shelby Adams
(baby)
Karen York Faye Grant
Gene York Michael Woods
Reporter Harvey Spencer Stephens
Simone Baptiste Megalyn Echikunwoke
Amani Golkar Omid Abtahi
Detective James Shay David Meunier
John Lyons Scott Wilson
The Cassocked Man Gerry Pearson
Jacob Shay Brody Bover
Veronica Selvaggio Melanie Scrofano
Paula Sciarra Sandrine Holt
Kelly Baptiste Tiffany Hines

Crew[edit]

Crew Film
The Omen (1976) Damien: Omen II (1978) Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) Omen IV: The Awakening (1991) The Omen (2006)
Director(s) Richard Donner Don Taylor Graham Baker Jorge Montesi
Dominique Othenin-Girard
John Moore
Writer(s) David Seltzer Stanley Mann
Mike Hodges
Andrew Birkin Harvey Bernhard
Brian Taggert
David Seltzer
Producer(s) Harvey Bernhard Harvey Bernhard
Richard Donner
Harvey Bernhard
Mace Neufeld
Glen Williamsonn
John Moore
Composer Jerry Goldsmith Jonathan Sheffer Marco Beltrami
Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor Bill Butler Phil Meheux
Robert Paynter
Martin Fuhrer Jonathan Sela
Editor Stuart Baird Robert Brown Alan Strachan Frank Irvine Dan Zimmerman
Running time 111 minutes 107 minutes 108 minutes 97 minutes 110 minutes

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Budget Box office revenue References
United States International Worldwide
The Omen (1976) June 6, 1976 (1976-06-06) $2.8 million $60,922,980 $17,800,000R $78,722,980 [6][7][8]
Damien: Omen II June 9, 1978 (1978-06-09) $6.8 million $26,518,355 $8,500,000R $35,018,355 [6][9][8]
Omen III: The Final Conflict March 20, 1981 (1981-03-20) $5 million $20,471,382 N/A $20,471,382 [6][10]
The Omen (2006) June 6, 2006 (2006-06-06) $25 million $54,607,383 $64,889,140 $119,496,523 [11]
Total $39.6 million $162,520,100 $91,189,140 $253,709,240

List indicator(s) R Distributor rentals.[a] In the US/Canada, The Omen had rentals of $28.5 million and Damien: Omen II $12.1 million. If the ratio of gross to rental applied to the international rental, the films grossed approximately $99 million and $45 million worldwide respectively.

  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.
  • Omen IV: The Awakening has been excluded from the list as it was not released theatrically.

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Omen (1976) 86% (43 reviews)[12] 62 (10 reviews)[13]
Damien: Omen II 41% (22 reviews)[14] 45 (9 reviews)[15]
Omen III: The Final Conflict 32% (19 reviews)[16] N/A
Omen IV: The Awakening 20% (5 reviews)[17] N/A
The Omen (2006) 27% (165 reviews)[18] 43 (34 reviews)[19]

Television[edit]

In 1995, a television pilot titled The Omen aired on Fox. Directed by Jack Sholder, the hour-long episode was intended as an attempt to develop The Omen franchise into a TV series. Although Donner was attached to the project as an executive producer, the pilot failed and the series never moved forward.[20] Unrelated to the previous films, The Omen follows a group of people who are tracking down an entity to which they are all independently linked.[21]

Damien (2016)[edit]

A new television series called Damien was in development at the network Lifetime before it was moved to A&E with Bradley James starring in the title role.[22][23]

Novels[edit]

There are five novels in the Omen series, the first three being novelizations of their film counterparts:

  • The Omen, written in 1976 by David Seltzer
  • Damien: Omen II, written in 1978 by Joseph Howard
  • Omen III: The Final Conflict, written in 1980 by Gordon McGill
  • Omen IV: Armageddon 2000, written in 1983 by Gordon McGill
  • Omen V: The Abomination, written in 1985 by Gordon McGill

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The gross rental is the distributor's share of the box-office gross and was more commonly reported than the exhibition gross up to the 1970s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donner, Richard (Director) (1976). The Omen (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 70171384.
  2. ^ Taylor, Don and Hodges, Mike (Directors) (1978). Damien: Omen II (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 45111331.
  3. ^ Baker, Graham (Director) (1981). Omen III: The Final Conflict (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 45273673.
  4. ^ Montesi, Jorge and Othenin-Girard, Dominique (Directors) (1991). Omen IV: The Awakening (DVD). Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. OCLC 76878002.
  5. ^ Kit, Borys (April 28, 2016). "'The Omen' Movie Prequel in the Works (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ a b c Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p259
  7. ^ "The Omen (1976)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Satan Back Again; Fox Sets Omen III". Variety. November 21, 1979. p. 34.
  9. ^ "Damien: The Omen Part II". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Final Conflict: Omen III (1981)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  11. ^ "The Omen (2006)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Omen (1976)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  13. ^ "The Omen" – via www.metacritic.com.
  14. ^ "Damien: Omen II (1978)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  15. ^ "Damien: Omen II" – via www.metacritic.com.
  16. ^ "Omen III: The Final Conflict (1984)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  17. ^ "Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Omen (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  19. ^ "The Omen Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 25, 2014). "Glen Mazzara's 'Omen' Follow-Up 'Damien' Ordered Straight to Series at Lifetime". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  21. ^ "The Omen". Brett Cullen Official Web Site. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 3, 2014). "Bradley James To Play Lead In Lifetime's 'The Omen' Sequel Series 'Damien'; Shekhar Kapur To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  23. ^ Maas, Jennifer. "Lifetime's The Omen-inspired series Damien moves to A&E". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.