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The new Damien trailer wants you to sympathize with the Antichrist

It’s been known for a while now that A&E Network’s upcoming Damien television series would have a direct connection to the franchise-starting 1976 horror movie The Omen, but the degree to which the TV series and film would be connected wasn’t certain — until now, that is.

In the new trailer for Damien released by A&E, clips from the 1976 film are used to set up the premise for the series, which serves as a direct sequel to The Omen and follows an adult Damien Thorn as he deals with the ramifications of being the Antichrist.

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Damien casts Merlin and Homeland actor Bradley James as the adult version of Damien from The Omen, and ignores the events of the 1978 sequel Damien: Omen II, 1981’s Omen III: The Final Conflict, and the final installment of the movie franchise, 1991’s direct-to-video Omen IV: The Awakening.

The series has Damien growing up to become a war photographer who struggles to avoid the tragic events of his past while avoiding the terrifying truths behind those events. Everything changes on his 30th birthday, however, when buried memories and the frightening destiny they foretell all come to the surface.

Along with James in the lead role, the series also stars Oscar-nominee Barbara Hershey (Hannah and her SistersThe Portrait of a Lady) as a woman tasked with ensuring Damien fulfills his destiny, Omid Abtahi (Argo) as a friend and colleague of Damien, and Meganlyn Echikunwoke (ArrowA Good Day To Die Hard) as a woman whose life becomes entangled in Damien’s journey.

Damien is executive produced by The Walking Dead producer Glen Mazzara, who also serves as the series’ head writer, with Golden Globe Award nominee Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) directing the first episode of the series.

Damien premieres Monday, March 7, at 10 pm ET on the A&E Network.