Once again, Netflix is bringing a real-life drug story to the small screen, this time with Painkiller, the latest drama from Narcos showrunner Eric Newman (yes, he is the son of Randy Newman, the man who soundtracked your childhood).
Matthew Broderick and Uzo Aduba lead the series, which follows the rise of the opioid epidemic in America after the introduction of OxyContin. So it’s a little bit like Netflix’s take on Dopesick, but without Michael Keaton.
Newman told The Hollywood Reporter that he wasn’t concerned about multiple stories on the opioid crisis due to its relevance in his own personal life. “Danny Strong did a great job of getting Dopesick out there, but this is a story that needs to be told as many times as possible, as loudly as possible,” he explained, adding, “[The opioid crisis] is not over. My stepbrother died a month ago from opioid abuse at 47. He’d struggled with it for 20 years, and the real tragedy is that no one was surprised.”
Here is everything you need to know about the series.
The series is loosely based on Barry Meier’s nonfiction book Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic, which chronicled the rise of the highly addictive drug OxyContin. Here is the official description from Netflix:
Painkiller, a fictionalized telling of real events, explores some of the origins and aftermath of the opioid crisis in America, highlighting the stories of perpetrators, victims, and truth-seekers whose lives are forever altered by the invention of OxyContin
The cast is led by Uzo Aduba as Edie, an investigator for the US Attorney looking into the opioid epidemic. Matthew Broderick stars as the real-life Richard Sackler, president of OxyCotin developer Purdue Pharma. Sam Anderson, Taylor Kitsch, Carolina Bartczak, Tyler Ritter, John Ales, Ana Cruz Kayne, and West Duchovny (daughter of our good pal David) also star.
The six-episode series drops on August 10th.