EXCLUSIVE: Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies), Matt McGorry (How To Get Away With Murder), Julia Chan (Katy Keene), Evan Jonigkeit, and Ariana Neal (Hidden Figures) are set as series regulars in Netflix’s Archive 81 series, based on the supernatural horror podcast. They join previously announced leads Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi in the series produced by James Wan’s Atomic Monster (MacGyver; The Conjuring Universe film franchise; upcoming Malignant and There’s Someone Inside Your House).
Archive 81 is written and executive produced by Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys, The Vampire Diaries), who also serves as showrunner. In Archive 81, when archivist Dan Turner (Athie) takes a mysterious job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994, he finds himself reconstructing the work of documentary filmmaker Melody Pendras (Shihabi) and her investigation into a dangerous cult. As Dan is drawn into Melody’s story, he becomes convinced he can save her from the terrifying end she met 25 years ago.
Donovan will play Virgil, a secretive billionaire who recruits Dan for a mysterious restoration project. He presents himself as forthright, friendly and plain-spoken — but he’s clearly hiding a darker agenda.
McGorry portrays Mark. An eccentric trust-fund kid obsessed with his Mystery Signals podcast, Mark is Dan’s best friend. Outgoing, larger than life, self-absorbed yet kind, he encourages Dan to take the job that will give him an exclusive story for his podcast. But when their investigation gets them in over their heads, Mark steps up and shows his true loyalty.
Chan is Anabelle, a struggling artist and party girl who burns hot and bright. Loud, outrageous, and adventurous, she’s Melody’s best friend and fiercest protector — even if that sometimes runs counter to what Melody wants.
Jonigkeit portrays Samuel, a charming, enigmatic professor who cultivates a friendship with Melody — but his strange influence over the other residents in the building soon leads her to question his motives.
Neal plays Jess, a smart, independent, entrepreneurial ninth grader who strikes up a friendship with Melody. Stricken with a mysterious ailment, she asks Melody for help — a request that ultimately puts them both in danger.
Stranger Things director Rebecca Thomas will helm half the series and executive produce with Sonnenshine. Paul Harris Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) is the writer and executive producer. Wan and Michael Clear executive produce for Atomic Monster. Rob Hackett is a co-executive producer.
Archive 81 launched in 2018 and has run for three seasons. It describes itself as a fiction podcast about horror, cities, and the subconscious. Co-creators Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell serve as co-producers on the Netflix series.
Donovan can currently be seen in Warner Bros. Tenet, his second feature with director Christopher Nolan after Insomnia. He was last featured in the second season of Big Little Lies as well as the psychological thriller Come To Daddy opposite Elijah Wood. He’s repped by Buchwald and GGA.
McGorry is known for his role as Asher Millstone on all six seasons of How To Get Away With Murder. His other credits include Orange is the New Black and feature Uncorked. He’s repped by Mainstay, A3 Artists Agency and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.
Chan most recently starred in the CW’s Katy Keene, CBC limited series Little Dog and on Bell Media’s Saving Hope. She’s repped by Buchwald, Thruline Entertainment and GGA in Toronto.
Jonigkeit can currently be seen in Disney’s The Empty Man and will next appear in Fox Searchlight’s upcoming horror/thriller The Night House. On the television side, he most recently portrayed Will in Starz’s Sweetbitter and Matt in Netflix’s Easy. Jonigkeit is repped by UTA, Industry Entertainment, and Shreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams, Berlin & Dunham.
Neal portrayed Joylette Johnson in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Her other feature credits include Mother’s Day, Get Hard and Fruitvale Station. Neal is repped by J Pervis Agency and Industry Entertainment.