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** Damien was originally going to be called Domlin until writer David Seltzer's wife suggested a name change. Finding a suitable child actor was also so tough that David Seltzer considered changing the character to a girl instead.

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** Damien was originally going to be called Domlin until Domlin, named after the child of one of writer David Seltzer's friends, until his wife suggested insisted on a name change. Finding a suitable child actor was also so tough that David Seltzer considered changing the character to a girl instead.


* ActorInspiredElement: Mrs Baylock was written to be a warm and friendly Irish nanny. Billie Whitelaw auditioned with some of the dialogue changed to make her cold and sinister. Creator/MiaFarrow's portrayal in TheRemake is closer to how she was originally written.

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* ActorInspiredElement: Mrs Mrs. Baylock was written to be a warm and friendly Irish nanny. Billie Whitelaw auditioned with some of the dialogue changed to make her cold and sinister. Creator/MiaFarrow's portrayal in TheRemake is closer to how she was originally written.



* FakeNationality: Italian priest Father Splietto is played by Martin Benson, an English actor of Russian-Jewish descent.

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* FakeNationality: FakeNationality:
**
Italian priest Father Splietto is played by Martin Benson, an English actor of Russian-Jewish descent.descent.
** The vaguely-Germanic Carl Bugenhagen is played by Aussie actor Leo [=McKern=].


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** Warner Brothers initially though Creator/OliverReed would be ideal for the film.


** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the role; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson, Creator/JamesCoburn and Creator/RoyScheider were also considered.

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** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' ''Film/{{Midway|1976}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the role; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson, Creator/JamesCoburn and Creator/RoyScheider were also considered.

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* PlayingAgainstType: Creator/DavidWarner, best known for playing villains, plays the heroic NiceGuy Keith Jennings.


* ActorInspiredElement: Mrs Baylock was written to be a warm and friendly Irish nanny. Billie Whitelaw auditioned with some of the dialogue changed to make her cold and sinister. Mia Farrow's portrayal in TheRemake is closer to how she was originally written.

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* ActorInspiredElement: Mrs Baylock was written to be a warm and friendly Irish nanny. Billie Whitelaw auditioned with some of the dialogue changed to make her cold and sinister. Mia Farrow's Creator/MiaFarrow's portrayal in TheRemake is closer to how she was originally written.


* ChannelHop: The movie was considered by Creator/WarnerBros, who thought it might be ideal for Creator/OliverReed.



** They both disagreed over the direction the scene where Robert Thorn finds out [[spoiler: his wife has died]]. Peck wanted to smash things angrily, but Donner wanted to cut in long after he'd gotten the news. Gregory grudgingly did it the director's way, but later said it was for the better after viewing the dailies.



** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the role; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson and Creator/JamesCoburn were also considered.

to:

** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the role; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson and Creator/CharlesBronson, Creator/JamesCoburn and Creator/RoyScheider were also considered.



** The movie was considered by Creator/WarnerBros, who thought it might be ideal for Creator/OliverReed.



** Gregory Peck and Richard Donner disagreed over the direction the scene where Robert Thorn finds out [[spoiler: his wife has died]]. Gregory Peck wanted to smash things angrily, but Richard Donner wanted to cut in long after he'd gotten the news. Gregory grudgingly did it the director's way, but later said it was for the better after viewing the dailies.

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* FakeNationality: Italian priest Father Splietto is played by Martin Benson, an English actor of Russian-Jewish descent.


** One of the film's tiger handler's died. Gregory Peck's son shot himself. A plane scheduled for use in the film, which was rescheduled and used for a commercial flight instead, crashed and killed everyone on board.

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** One of the film's tiger handler's handlers died. Gregory Peck's son shot himself. A plane scheduled for use in the film, which was rescheduled and used for a commercial flight instead, crashed and killed everyone on board.


** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the rolw; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson and Creator/JamesCoburn were also considered.

to:

** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the rolw; role; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson and Creator/JamesCoburn were also considered.


* PetFadStarter: The popularity of Rottweilers increased after this movie came out.



* TheRedStapler: The popularity of Rottweilers increased after this movie came out.


* GroinAttack: a meta-example during the casting; when auditioning children for the role of Damien, director Richard Donner acted out the scene where Damien attacks Katherine during the church wedding scene, telling the boys to come at him. Harvey Stephens screamed and clawed at Donner's face, and kicked him right between the legs. Donner got Stephens off of him and immediately ordered his blond hair to be dyed black, casting Stephens as Damien on the spot.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: The biggest problem with shooting with Mrs. Baylock's ominous dog was that the animal was nothing like the creature he was supposed to be portraying. He wanted to lick and play with his co-stars rather than threaten them.


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* NeverWorkWithChildrenOrAnimals: The biggest problem with shooting with Mrs. Baylock's ominous dog was that the animal was nothing like the creature he was supposed to be portraying. He wanted to lick and play with his co-stars rather than threaten them.


* ActorInspiredElement: Mrs Baylock was written to be a warm and friendly Irish nanny. Billie Whitelaw auditioned with some of the dialogue changed to make her cold and sinister. Mia Farrow's portrayal in TheRemake is closer to how she was originally written.



** Less traumatically, Donner did this several times with child-actor Harvey Stephens; for example, he provoked Damien's final smile by ''very'' emphatically warning Stephens to ''not'' smile at the camera.

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** Less traumatically, Donner did this several times with child-actor Harvey Stephens; for example, he provoked Damien's final smile by ''very'' emphatically warning Stephens to ''not'' smile at the camera. He also got the annoyed reaction Damien has at being taken to church by antagonising Harvey off-camera.



* FollowTheLeader: One of the many "evil child" films following the success of ''Film/TheExorcist''.

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* FollowTheLeader: One of the many "evil child" films following the success of ''Film/TheExorcist''.''Film/TheExorcist'' and ''Film/RosemarysBaby''.



* SerendipityWritesThePlot:
** Billie Whitelaw was performing in a play on the West End, and rang the production office to see if she could drop out of the film. She called on a late Friday afternoon and there was no one to take her call. Therefore she had to show up for filming the next week. Ironic if you look at WhatCouldHaveBeen below.
** The title change from 'The Birthmark' to 'The Omen' came about because they were filming in a real maternity ward and had signs up saying "Filming the Birth Mark". Patients asked for no mention of birthmarks, fearing bad luck, so they put up signs saying "Filming The Omen" instead. They eventually decided to keep the name.



** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel.
** Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn.
** Creator/DickVanDyke turned down the role of Thorn, a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson and Creator/JamesCoburn were also considered.
** Damien was originally going to be called Domlin until writer David Seltzer's wife suggested a name change.

to:

** Creator/WilliamHolden turned down the role of Robert Thorn. Seeing as how the finished film turned out, he jumped at the chance to star in the sequel.
**
sequel. Creator/CharltonHeston chose to do ''Film/{{Midway}}'' instead, allowing Creator/GregoryPeck to come out of retirement to play Thorn.
**
Thorn. Creator/DickVanDyke also turned down the role of Thorn, rolw; a decision he later regretted. Creator/CharlesBronson and Creator/JamesCoburn were also considered.
** Damien was originally going to be called Domlin until writer David Seltzer's wife suggested a name change. Finding a suitable child actor was also so tough that David Seltzer considered changing the character to a girl instead.


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** The script had some more overt supernatural elements - such as witches' covens and demons with cloven feet. Richard Donner had them removed, and the golden rule was that everything in the script had to be plausible in real life. This was so that there could be an element of doubt over whether Thorn was just going mad.
** Gregory Peck and Richard Donner disagreed over the direction the scene where Robert Thorn finds out [[spoiler: his wife has died]]. Gregory Peck wanted to smash things angrily, but Richard Donner wanted to cut in long after he'd gotten the news. Gregory grudgingly did it the director's way, but later said it was for the better after viewing the dailies.
** Producers considered cutting Mrs Baylock out of the film completely, feeling she was almost too evil - and also making it clear that the demonic conspiracy was real (because someone as evil as her had to be straight from hell). Richard Donner however loved Billie Whitelaw's performance and couldn't bear to cut the character.

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* MeanCharacterNiceActor: The biggest problem with shooting with Mrs. Baylock's ominous dog was that the animal was nothing like the creature he was supposed to be portraying. He wanted to lick and play with his co-stars rather than threaten them.


* WorkingTitle:

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* WorkingTitle: The film was originally going to be called ''The Anti-Christ''. When studio heads suggested something more subtle they appropriated the Creator/NathanielHawthorne title: ''The Birthmark''.

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* BreakthroughHit: For Creator/RichardDonner.
* DyeingForYourArt: Creator/RichardDonner decided that Harvey Stephens' naturally blond hair should be dyed black to give him a more sinister look in his role as Damien. He was also given contact lenses to darken his eyes.


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* FollowTheLeader: One of the many "evil child" films following the success of ''Film/TheExorcist''.


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* MeaningfulReleaseDate: The film was sneak previewed nationwide on June 6, 1976 (the official date was June 25th). Which also happened to be a Sunday.
* MoneyDearBoy: David Seltzer has claimed that he only wrote the script because he needed the money. He said of the film:
-->"I did it strictly for the money. I was flat broke. I do find it horrifying how many people believe all this silliness".
* NovelizationFirst: As part of a marketing blitz, and done by the film's screenwriter.
* TheProductionCurse: Various mishaps plagued the production:
** During filming, David Seltzer's plane was hit by lighting, as was Creator/GregoryPeck's, as was executive producers Mace Neufelds'.
** A hotel Neufeld was staying at during production was bombed by [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the IRA]], as was a restaurant Creator/RichardDonner and actors were scheduled to eat at. Luckily, no one died.
** One of the film's tiger handler's died. Gregory Peck's son shot himself. A plane scheduled for use in the film, which was rescheduled and used for a commercial flight instead, crashed and killed everyone on board.
** An assistant to special effects consultant John Richardson on the other hand, wasn't quite as lucky. On Friday the 13th of August 1976, Richardson crashed his car in Holland. His assistant was sliced through by the car's front wheel. Scrambling out of the wreckage, Richardson looked up and saw a road sign: Ommen, [[NumberOfTheBeast 66.6km]].


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* TheRedStapler: The popularity of Rottweilers increased after this movie came out.
* VacationDearBoy: David Seltzer asserted that he set the story in London as he fancied a trip to England.
* WagTheDirector: Creator/RichardDonner frequently had to reshoot close-ups of Creator/GregoryPeck because the star objected to being seen with double chins.


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** Damien was originally going to be called Domlin until writer David Seltzer's wife suggested a name change.
** The movie was considered by Creator/WarnerBros, who thought it might be ideal for Creator/OliverReed.
* WorkingTitle:

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