Damien is one seriously conflicted Antichrist in the new A&E series. Star Bradley James, best known for his role on BBC's Merlin, is downright sympathetic as he gets in touch with his troubled past. It is too soon to tell if adapting the controversial Omen movies into a television series will lead to success for A&E, but the show is sure to stir up strong feelings from religious groups.
Is it a good idea to make the Antichrist relatable and even conflicted about his role in bringing about the end days? At least it's an interesting one.
There's something about the way James plays Damien in the trailer that makes him instantly compelling. If you believe in free will, then predestination is not a thing. In this world, Damien could choose to fight his destiny and try to have some semblance of a normal life.
Then again, A&E could be pulling a long con here by having the audience root for the guy who will end the world. I will admit even I got goosebumps watching the trailer, though. It's the same feeling that The Exorcist and the original Omen movies produced — a feeling that I'm being deviant somehow.
Perhaps that is exactly the feeling the clever A&E wants to cultivate. After all, it did send people carrying "the beast rises" signs to join in the Christian protests outside of Comic-Con on Thursday evening. Controversy will bring eyes to the show, but it's going to need quality to back it up. Until the first episode premieres, you'll have to settle for analyzing the spooky trailer for clues about what exactly Damien wants to be.
Damien premieres in 2016 on A&E.
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