Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling is moving closer to the dark-side, as she's set to play the lead in the upcoming horror thriller Descendant. The busy performer will be playing a very troubled mother in the film, which is said to draw inspiration from genre classics like The Omen and The Bad Seed.
Schilling is best known for her role in Orange is the New Black as the initially naïve Piper Chapman, whose coping mechanisms in the prison system is the focus of the popular Netflix comedy/drama. It's a role that has earned Schilling Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, as well as several other media association awards. Schilling also has a number of other productions that will be released later this year. She stars opposite SNL alum Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters) in the comedy Family, which will premiere at this year's SXSW film festival. And she will soon be seen alongside Sam Worthington (Avatar 2) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) in the sci-fi film The Titan. However, Descendant will be her first foray into horror.
According to THR, Descendant focuses on a young mother who becomes worried about her 8-year-old son and the disturbing behavior that he starts to exhibit. As the film progresses, she becomes convinced that something supernatural is influencing him. Although it's not made clear in the details released so far, it's fair to guess that Schilling will either play the part of the mother or someone close to her. The movie has a lot of genre experience behind the production. It will be directed by Nicholas McCarthy, who previously wrote and shot the creepy 2012 horror The Pact, which featured Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow). The screenplay was written by Jeff Buhler, who also wrote The Midnight Meat Train and is currently working on a remake of Jacob’s Ladder.
Descendant is being made by MGM's Orion Pictures, which is headed by John Hegeman, and will be produced by Tripp Vinson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose). It's expected to begin production in March in Toronto. Speaking about the film, Hegeman said:
“Descendant is a unique and terrifying addition to the horror genre and we are looking forward to working with Nicholas, Tripp and Taylor in bringing Jeff’s script to life."
Creepy kids are a mainstay in the genre and this looks like it could be an interesting example, especially with the crew behind the camera. Obviously details are sparse at the moment, and Schilling is the only cast member to be confirmed so far. But with horror undergoing something of a resurgence at the moment in U.S. theaters due to the success of films like Get Out and IT, if this comes together it could be one to watch out for and appeal to genre fans and general audiences alike.
Descendant does not currently have a release date. We'll bring you more updates as we get them.