Is The Changeling Show Related to Clint Eastwood’s Changeling Movie?

Apple TV+’s horror series ‘The Changeling’ revolves around Apollo Kagwa and Emma “Emmy” Valentine, a New York City-based couple who get together and form a family with their son Brian. After welcoming Brian, Emma’s physical and mental health deteriorates severely, which leads her to a horrifying crime. The series revolves around Apollo’s efforts to deal with the repercussions of Emma’s crime, including her disappearance from his life. The series shares not only its name with Clint Eastwood’s 2008 mystery movie ‘Changeling’ but also a connection to an entity that is a part of the lore of European folk! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Relation Between Changeling Show and Clint Eastwood’s Changeling Film

Apple TV+’s ‘The Changeling’ is not directly connected to Clint Eastwood’s ‘Changeling.’ To be clear, the show is not a prequel, sequel, remake, or reboot of the 2008 film. However, both the show and movie’s titles refer to a creature in European folklore. According to the same, a changeling is a human-like creature/fairy substituted for a human baby by the fairies.

In Eastwood’s film, protagonist Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) believes that the boy she reunites with after her son went missing is not really her son Walter. The title is a reference to Collins’ belief that her son got “substituted.” “[Changeling] is a medieval term for one child, often a demon child, substituted for another. The downside of the word is that it has this supernatural connotation. I used it as a temporary title, figuring that I could always change it down the road, but everyone seemed to like it,” J. Michael Straczynski, who penned the film, told Time about the roots of the title.

Kelly Marcel’s 2023 series is based on Victor LaValle’s eponymous novel. LaValle titled his novel “The Changeling” since his work is an exploration of a mother’s fear concerning her baby. In the novel and show, Emma seemingly believes that the baby boy who lives with her is not really her son. Under the belief that she will get her son back, she kills Brian. Emma’s irrational belief that her son got “substituted” explains the reason why the novel and the show are titled “The Changeling.” Therefore, it is safe to say that both the show and movie explore a similar fear or belief through outrightly unrelated characters and narratives.

“I do think there’s a powerful fear at the heart of those kinds of tales. Raising children can be so tough even when things go perfectly,” LaValle told the Washington Independent Review of Books. “A child can seem like one person on Tuesday and an entirely new one on Wednesday. It’s easy to begin wondering if they really have been switched. Then it’s even easier to begin fearing that they’ve been switched. And, from there, a myth begins,” the author added, further shedding light on the foundation of his novel.

Read More: Where is Apple TV+’s The Changeling Filmed?