If you were to ask us, star power does actually matter when it comes to publicizing addiction issues. When high-profile actors attach themselves to a project related to recovery, it creates a lot of added attention (and hopefully brings the topics we cover to the mainstream). Such is the case with a new Hulu drama series called Dopesick; which happens to feature Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson and Peter Sarsgaard, among others.
Dopesick is just starting to enter production and will focus specifically on America’s growing opioid addiction epidemic. Its first season will run for eight episodes and is using the bestselling book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America as its source material.
The original book, written by journalist Beth Macy, came out in 2018 and received a large amount of critical acclaim. It documented the entire crisis thus far, dating back from the introduction of OxyContin in the 1990’s to the big pharma battles that continue into current day. Hulu has already released a logline bio for the series, which boasts some key talent behind-the-scenes (including Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson).
“An ambitious, harrowing, and compelling look into the epicenter of America’s struggle with Opioid addiction, takes viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA, and to the opulence of ‘one percenter’ Big Pharma Manhattan,” the logline describes. “The unsparing yet deeply human portraits of the various affected families and their intersecting stories hold up a mirror to where America is right now, while shining a hopeful light on the heroes battling the worst drug epidemic in American history.”
Keaton will also be an executive producer of the series and it was revealed that he will play a prominent doctor in Dopesick. His role is classified as one of the “heroes” of the movement, highlighting the medical professionals who chose to fight back and raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs. Noted writer-producer Danny Strong is also attached as a series producer and emphasized to Deadline.com that this story will be told from a very human perspective.
“I’m so thrilled to tell this story with a company as bold and as daring as Hulu,” Strong concluded. “The opioid crisis is one of the most important stories of our time and I’m honored to not only pay tribute to its victims but to shine a light on the heroes that fought back. Laws were broken and many lies were told. The system failed us and Dopesick is going to show everyone how it all happened.”
We will certainly be keeping an eye out for Dopesick, which is set to premiere in early 2021.