The story begins with a kidnapping in a suburban neighborhood, which leads police on a manhunt that comes full circle, the producers said.
McCarthy, who can now be seen on the TV series "Lipstick Jungle," is perhaps best known for his roles in the 1980s teen film classics "Pretty in Pink" and "St. Elmo's Fire."
He has also appeared in "Less than Zero," "The Joy Luck Club" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles."
In "Intent," McCarthy will play the role of kidnapping victim David McDowell.
"He's an amazing actor and a great guy to work with. The part was written with Andrew in mind, so we're very excited to have him on board," "Intent" producer Allen Cohen said in a statement.
The film's producers are in talks with additional cast members, which could include Kiefer Sutherland, Elizabeth Shue and Steve Schirripa.
Shooting is to begin in Tampa, Fla. in September.