Damien

Damien, the A&E series based on the film The Omen, premiered March 7. So with three episodes on the air, the cast and series creator Glen Mazzara, formerly of The Walking Dead, gave a panel at Wodercon. In a press room roundtable, Mazzara told reporters we’ve only seen the beginning of how dark Damien will get.

“The show’s going to get darker,” Mazzara said. “It gets really dark. We have some episodes coming up that really, I think, are going to push the limit. It’ll be interesting to see how people respond to it. I don’t think it ever gets gratuitous or anything but we go into some pretty dark territory. It’ll be interesting to see how the middle of the season plays because that stuff is really taking risks. The end of the season I think is just a freight train. It just races and I’m really, really proud of the finale. I think people will be pleased when they see how it all comes together and all the questions people have about Damien I think are going to be answered. I’m excited for people to see it.” 

When we meet Damien Thorn (Bradley James) at age 30, he is a war photographer who seems to have forgotten the deaths that surrounded his childhood. Even though new characters tell him he is indeed the antichrist, Damien struggles to be a good person. Perhaps he is in denial.

“Yeah, I think he’s doing two things at this point in the season,” Mazzara said. “He’s in denial and he’s trying to find out what’s true, so there’s a bit of investigation. He’s looking for answers.”

This won’t last. The first season will see Damien forced to accept who he is. “Pretty soon in the show he starts to realize that he has to, sooner or later, deal with the supernatural element in his life,” Mazzara said. “That’s coming up very quickly. He’s starting to realize that there’s this dark energy around him that has sort of a mind of its own. Damien is the antichrist. He has a task to bring about the apocalypse. That is the story we’re telling and I think he’s going kicking and screaming down into hell. It’s a matter of making that journey as interesting and as complex and as surprising as possible.”

That doesn’t mean he’ll go full antichrist in the season finale. Mazzara has multiple seasons planned for Damien. “He’s got a whole world to destroy,” Mazzara said. “That’s complicated. That’ll take a few seasons. He might take it apart bit by bit.”

The series features deadly freak accidents like the classic film’s scene of a pane of glass decapitating a victim. In the third episode, a man gets his tie caught in an escalator which drives his face into the grate. Mazzara is careful not to get too Final Destination with the Damien deaths.

“I think it’s a matter of keeping those deaths grounded so that it feels like something that could happen to anybody at some point,” Mazzara said. “We had a sinkhole death in the first episode. A couple miles away from where we filmed that in Toronto, some guy was in a car and he ended up in a sinkhole. They had to get him out through his sunroof. When we were filming the escalator death, there was another girl in Toronto who got her scarf caught in an escalator. She wasn’t hurt. Somebody shut it off. So these odd accidents do happen. I think it’s a matter of keeping those grounded instead of having a very elaborate thing that 50 things have to line up. You keep it oddly grounded and it resonates.”

Damien airs Mondays at 10PM on A&E.

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