MGM is re-launching Orion Classics and has named Mike P. Nelson’s thriller The Domestics starring Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin (Everybody Wants Some!!) as its first release as the studio says it will focus on multiplatform and specialized releases and acquisitions. The label that is rising from the ashes will release eight to 10 films per year across genres, with The Domestics hitting theaters June 28 and then going to VOD and digital the following day.
The move follows last year’s resurrection of the Orion label and naming of John Hegeman as its president. Orion Classics will be run day to day by Sam Wollman, MGM’s SVP Acquisitions; he will work in conjunction with Hegeman and MGM President of Worldwide Television and Acquisitions Chris Ottinger. Orion Pictures’ first film, Every Day, was released into theaters in February and grossed $6.1M.
In its heyday, Orion Classics — which launched in 1983 — released what really was considered smaller, art house films. But a lot of quality indie and foreign product came out of it such as Raise the Red Lantern, Jesus of Montreal, Lily Tomlin’s Searching for Intelligent Life in the Universe, Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train and Richard Linklater’s Slacker.
If MGM truly is going to redo the Orion Classics label, it will be competing for product rather then becoming a dumping ground for movies they don’t know what to do with. Executives say, however, that they intend to make it a vibrant label. “Orion Classics has a long and storied history of releasing some of the most unique and memorable specialized movies of its time … it’s our goal to relaunch Orion Classics with that same spirit in mind, and continue to have an eye on acquisitions across all platforms that entertain specialty audiences across the globe,” Ottinger and Hegeman said in a joint statement announcing the resuscitated label.
The Domestics logline: Set in a terrifying post-apocalyptic world inhabited by murderous gangs divided into deadly factions, Nina (Bosworth) and Mark (Hoechlin) race desperately across the lawless countryside in search of safety. As one depraved group narrows their search for the couple, they must work together as they are pushed to the breaking point in order to survive.
Written by Nelson, The Domestics was produced by Gianni Nunnari (300) and Shannon Gaulding (Safe Haven) and executive produced by Kurt Johnstad (Atomic Blonde) and Adam Krentzman (Moonchild). The film’s world premiere is set for opening night at the Cinepocalypse film festival on June 21.
Rounding out the cast for this film are Lance Reddick (The Wire), Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina), Dana Gourrier (The Hateful Eight), Thomas Francis Murphy (True Detective) and David Dastmalchian (The Belko Experiment).