Andrew McCarthy, Drew Van Acker & Debby Ryan To Topline Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Orion’

EXCLUSIVE: Andrew McCarthy (Brats), Drew Van Acker (Last Survivors) and Debby Ryan (Shortcomings) have wrapped production in New York on Orion, a new sci-fi thriller from director Jaco Bouwer (Gaia).

Written by first-timer Anne Vithayathil, the film centers around a heated interrogation between a U.S. Intelligence expert tasked to help an amnesiac astronaut recover his memory in order to determine “who” or “what” killed the rest of the crew before they crash landed back on Earth.

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Producing the film alongside Van Acker, Elle Army (Life Like) and Scott Army, Sunil Perkash (Enchanted, Salt), describes the project as “a very unique world building sci fi thriller that relies on incredibly strong performances from all of the cast and the meticulously curated world building by our director, Jaco Bouwer. We could not be more excited to bring our clever twisting and turning film to audiences worldwide soon.”

Pic’s cast also includes rising singer/actress Karin Ann, Natalia Lesz, Theodora Miranne and Daniel Bisla. UTA Independent Film Group is representing the film for sales.

Known for turns in classic films like Pretty in Pink and Weekend at Bernie’s, McCarthy is coming off of directing Brats, a Brat Pack documentary that debuted at #1 on Hulu, after its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival. His book, Brat: An 80;s Story, which inspired the film, was a New York Times bestseller. Most recently seen as a series regular on Fox’s The Resident, McCarthy has also directed on some of the most popular TV shows in recent memory, including Orange Is the New Black, The Blacklist, and Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.

Most recently, Van Acker starred opposite Alicia Silverstone and Steven Moyer in the sci-fi thriller Last Survivors, which world premiered at Fright Fest in London.He previously played Aqualad on the hit series Titans and starred in the indie Life Like with James D’Arcy, Addison Timlin and Steven Strait.

Recent film credits for Ryan include the acclaimed Sundance titles Shortcomings and Horse Girl, as well as Jeff Baena’s Spin Me Round, which world premiered at SXSW. She also starred in Turtles All the Way Down for Max and will next be seen in the upcoming season of American Horror Stories.

Bouwer’s critically acclaimed South African feature Gaia, distributed by Neon/Decal, had its world premiere at SXSW, winning Best Cinematography. Gaia also won four South African Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Recently, he also directed directed all eight episodes of Spinners, a limited series for Canal+ that premiered in competition at Cannes International Series Festival.

McCarthy is represented by CAA, Liebman Entertainment, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum; Van Acker by Vybe Tribe and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Ryan by UTA, Amplified Management, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum; Bouwer by Torchwood Literary & Scouting Ltd; Vithayathil by Plain Text; and Perkash by Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.

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