Orphan: Dulé Hill and Sarayu Blue join Ellen Pompeo and Mark Duplass in Natalia Grace-inspired series

The limited Hulu series Orphan, inspired by the case of Natalia Grace, adds Dule Hill and Sarayu Blue to the cast

Ellen Pompeo and Mark Duplass

Back in 2009, a horror film called Orphan told us the story of a married couple who adopts a 9-year-old Russian girl only to discover that she’s actually a criminal adult passing herself off as a child. The film was loosely based on the true story of Barbora Skrlova, a 30-something woman who pretended to be a 13-year-old and did some very twisted things that were very different than what we saw in Orphan. In 2012, a sad case that made it into news reports reminded people of Orphan. It was the story of Natalia Grace, a Ukrainian-born girl with dwarfism who was adopted by American parents who began to suspect she was much older than records said she was. The Grace case has been covered on Dr. Phil and the docu-series The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, and now the Hulu streaming service is moving forward with a Natalia Grace-inspired limited series that’s currently going by the working title of Orphan, with Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy) and Mark Duplass (Creep) – pictured above – on board to play the adoptive parents. Coming Soon reports that Dulé Hill (Suits) and Sarayu Blue (Blockers) – pictured below – have also joined the cast.

Imogen Faith Reid, whose previous credits were stand-in and double jobs on The One and Only Ivan, The Third Day, and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, will be playing Natalia.

Written by Katie Robbins, the Orphan series – which is almost certain to change its title by the time it premieres – will consist of eight episodes. It is inspired by the true story of Michael and Kristine Barnett, a Midwestern couple that adopts what they believe is an 8-year-old girl with a rare form of dwarfism. But as they begin to raise her alongside their three biological children, they slowly start to believe 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, falling into a battle that’s fought in the tabloids, the courtroom, and ultimately their marriage.

Hill will be taking on the role of Detective Brandon Drysdale, “who will serve as the investigator regarding the criminal allegations hurled against Michael and Kristine.” Blue’s character is Valika, “one of the parents at Kristine’s daycare center.”

Robbins and Pompeo are executive producing Orphan alongside Sarah Sutherland, Mike Epps, Dan Spilo, Niles Kirchner, Andrew Stearn, and Laura Holstein. The show is coming our way from ABC Signature.

Are you interested in the story of Natalia Grace, and would you watch a dramatized series about it? Share your thoughts on this Orphan project by leaving a comment below.

Dule Hill Sarayu Blue

Source: Coming Soon

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.