At Comic-Con, I recently joined the press room for A&E's The Omen sequel series, Damien, where, along with a handful of journalists, I caught up with writer/executive producer Glen Mazzara and cast members Bradley James, Barbara Hershey, and Scott Wilson, who discussed the upcoming adult Antichrist series.

Glen Mazzara on the tone of the show:

"It is realistic, we're using the original 1976 film as the source not only of the story but of the style of filmmaking. That film was very grounded, it felt like it was taking place in the world and so we're trying to follow that, you know? I think that's what makes the horror play. If you feel that it's real. Once something becomes very involved, very dependent on special effects, I tend to feel not as frightened, to tell you the truth. So we're trying to stay as realistic feeling as possible.

It's both a horror and a thriller. If you think about it, the character Damien is involved in a conspiracy that's being run by Satan. Well okay, hopefully that's thrilling, but you know, we certainly have those horror sequences that The Omen is known for, so it gives us a lot to play with every week."

Mazzara on the sense of inevitability surrounding Damien and his destiny as the Antichrist:

"I would say this: I think that the character is always facing a question of fate versus free will. If there are greater forces leading him along a certain path, how can he fight against that? I think that is a question of his own humanity, but I'm sure those forces would not be interested in his answer. So that's where we get our story from."

Bradley James on what type of person Damien is:

"Of all the people for this burden to fall upon, Damien is probably the guy you would want it to fall upon, and that's not necessarily because he's the best at this, it's just that he is a good representation of humanity's moral code. Neither good nor bad, not just sort of, you know, 'I'm Superman, I do everything that's good and I'm 'pick a villain,' I do everything that's bad.' He is us. He is a representation of all of us at this table, all the people who go day to day, that is Damien.

James on Damien's awareness of who he really is:

"There's an awareness of something strange in comparison to other people. Damien's life is not what everyone else's life seems to be. There's that awareness that there is something strange but also with that becomes a desire to get rid of it."

Mazzara on which films from The Omen franchise will be referenced in Damien:

"We really leaned heavily on the first film. I mean, we watched the second and third film but they had started developing the character along a certain line and that didn't feel right, so we're sort of saying those are not part of our canon and it's really just the first film, sort of, that's our starting point where we're taking it up from there."

Mazzara on continuing The Omen story in a serialized series:

"What's fun about writing it as a TV series is that as he's trying to gain control of his life, things happen that he doesn't want. Just like on shows that I've written on, like The Shield, the guys would end up doing something and things would go wrong and you have these moments of horror but you also have a lot of nice character moments. What's been fun about taking that first film is it gave us a world. It gave us a tone and it gave us a lot to start with and now you say, 'Okay, let's revisit that world and freshen it up and visit it 25 years down the road.

That's been great to do but I think there's something about the way we're telling the story that makes me feel like a TV show is the right way to examine this character. How does he live with it day to day, how do other people come into his life? What does it mean when something goes wrong for him? I feel great about doing that as a show."

Barbara Hershey on the complex motivations her character has for helping Damien fulfill his destiny as the Antichrist:

"The thing that's intriguing to me about the character is all of the above, because I don't want to really say why she's doing what she's doing, but I have to just say that it's completely complex. It is protective for sure, but it's a lot of other things. She's very powerful, so that automatically wields a certain kind of warpedness, but there are a lot of other things that hopefully aren't so obvious."

Scott Wilson on reuniting with Glen, who he worked with on The Walking Dead:

"It let me know that I would enjoy working on this and I do, because I enjoyed working with him the last time we worked together. He’s a wonderful writer and showrunner. He has some great writers on this show. It's interesting, the forces of good and evil and of course this leans to the direction of the more darker side of good and evil. That seems to be what The Omen is about and I think it's more with that here. You mentioned The Ninth Configuration earlier and that was talking more about the existence of a God. This is more about the existence of His counterpart."

Wilson discusses details of his character and Barbara comments on their characters' relationship:

Wilson: "Again, he's known him since a young boy. He has also had a hand in his development by turning him over to people, sending him to school, taking care of his finances."

Hershey: "We're partners."

Wilson: "Yeah. Kind of partners who maybe are..."

Hershey: "Frenemies?"

Wilson: "Frenemies, yeah."

Wilson on the thought-provoking elements audiences can expect to see in Damien:

"It opens up a profound question that's dealing with you. When you think of The Omen, when you think of Damien, you think of the potential for evil and horror, so it's, I think the people that watch this are going to be very surprised and I think it's going to open up various thoughts that maybe they’re not expecting."


"The series stars Bradley James as Damien Thorn (“Merlin,” “Homeland”), along with Oscar® nominee Barbara Hershey (“Once Upon A Time”), Omid Abtahi (“Better Call Saul”) and Meganlyn Echikunwoke (“House of Lies”).

“Damien” follows the adult life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from the 1976 motion picture 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. Barbara Hershey stars as Ann Rutledge, the world's most powerful woman who has been tasked with making sure Damien fulfills his destiny. Omid Abtahi portrays Amani Golkar, a close colleague of Damien’s whose fierce loyalty will be tested when he realizes who his brother-in-arms actually is. Meganlyn Echikunwoke plays Simone Baptiste, a woman whose life is thrown into turmoil when tragedy unexpectedly strikes.

“Damien” is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios (“Homeland,” “Sons Of Anarchy”) for A&E Network. Glen Mazzara (“The Walking Dead,” “The Shield”) serves as writer and executive producer via his 44 Strong Productions. Ross Fineman (“Lights Out”), who developed the project alongside Mazzara, executive produces through his company, Fineman Entertainment. Pancho Mansfield (“Queen of the South”) also serves as executive producer. Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award nominated director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) directed and executive produces the first episode."

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.