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Hulu announces straight-to-series order for 'Dopesick' starring Michael Keaton


Wed, Jun 17th 2020 04:10 pm

Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson will direct the limited series from Emmy Award-winning producer Warren Littlefield & FOX 21 Television Studios

Hulu announced a straight-to-series order for “Dopesick” from Emmy Award-winning writer Danny Strong (“Empire,” “Recount,” “Game Change”). The eight-episode limited series will star Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton and will be directed by Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson (“Paterno,” “Rain Man”). The project, based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Beth Macy, comes to Hulu from FOX 21 Television Studios and The Littlefield Company.

“The minute we met with Danny Strong about Beth Macy’s bestselling book, we immediately knew it was the kind of groundbreaking series we just had to bring to Hulu. Danny’s unflinching and deeply compelling take on America’s opioid crisis will bring to life one of the most important stories impacting our culture. Add to that the cinematic vision of Barry Levinson and the extraordinary talent of Michael Keaton, and we’ve got an undeniable series that perfectly embodies our Hulu Originals brand,” said Craig Erwich, SVP of originals, Hulu.

“Although we were sharply aware of and empathetic to the horrifying pain caused by the opioid crisis for millions in this country, we were blown away when Warren Littlefield showed us Beth Macy’s book ‘Dopesick.’ Consequently, Danny Strong had been crafting his own telling of the opiate epidemic and in typical Danny form, it was mesmerizing. The fact that Warren and Danny are collaborating on this is a studio’s dream. Together with Barry Levinson and Michael Keaton, we have every reason to believe this important story will be one of the TV events of the coming year,” said Bert Salke, president, FOX 21 Television Studios.

“Dopesick,” 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 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.

After 13 years, Keaton returns to television as Samuel Finnix, an old-school doctor who approaches his practice with kindness and compassion, but finds himself embroiled in Big Pharma’s deadly secret.

Keaton received an Academy Award nomination for his lead role in “Birdman” followed by his acclaimed performance in “Spotlight.” Both films won the Academy Award for Best Picture back to back. Upcoming, Keaton will also appear in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Sony’s Marvel action film “Morbius” and Martin Campbell’s action thriller “The Asset.”

“I’m so thrilled to tell this story with a company as bold and as daring as Hulu,” Strong said. "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.”

Having major success this year with the adaptations of “High Fidelity,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and “Normal People,” Hulu adds “Dopesick” to its growing slate of compelling and relevant limited series such as “The Act,” “Castle Rock” and “Catch-22,” along with the upcoming “Nine Perfect Strangers” and “The Dropout.” “Dopesick” is set to premiere in 2021.

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