Last week, reports came out that Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo would be making the move to Hulu in an untitled orphan adoption series. Now, the project has found another lead.
According to Deadline, British actor Imogen Reid has signed on to star opposite Pompeo.
Created and written by Katie Robbins, the Untitled Orphan Project is inspired by the true story of a Midwestern couple who adopts a young girl with a rare form of dwarfism (Reid). But as they begin to raise her alongside their three other children, they slowly start to suspect she may not be who she says she is. As they question her story, they’re confronted with hard questions of their own about the lengths they’re willing to go to defend themselves and protect their own narrative, falling into a battle that’s fought in the tabloids, the courtroom, and ultimately their marriage. Pompeo will play her mother.
The wild true story made national headlines in 2019 when Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband Michael Barnett were charged with neglect for allegedly abandoning their adopted daughter Natalia, who has a rare form of dwarfism, when she was 9. The parents have claimed that Natalia, whom they adopted when they thought she was 6, is in fact a mentally disturbed adult woman who threatened their lives. The charges have since been dropped and Natalia maintains that she is not an adult with dwarfism.
Does this all sound familiar? Well, in 2009 the horror thriller Orphan also played with this premise and a prequel is due out this year titled Orphan: First Kill.
In addition to starring, Pompeo executive produces alongside her Calamity Jane production company exec Laura Holstein. Katie Robbins (The Affair) created the series and serves as writer and EP. Erin Levy (Mad Men) serves as showrunner and exec produces. Mike Epps, Dan Spilo, Niles Kirchner and Andrew Stearn serve as non-writing exec producers.