Hulu has tapped an impressive cast to headline its limited series Dopesick, based on Beth Macy’s book about the U.S. opioid crisis. Unbelievable‘s Kaitlyn Dever and Midsommar‘s Will Poulter are joining Michael Keaton in the Dopesick cast, which also features Peter Sarsgaard.
Deadline reports that Kaitlyn Dever and Will Poulter have been set as series regulars opposite Michael Keaton and Peter Sarsgaard in Dopesick, Hulu’s eight-episode limited series based on Beth Macy’s nonfiction book of the same name which investigates the opioid crisis that has spread across America.
Written by Danny Strong and directed by Barry Levinson, Dopesick is described as “an ambitious, harrowing and compelling look into the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction. It takes viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community to the hallways of the DEA and 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.” The project comes from The Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Warren Littlefield and Touchstone Television.
Dever will play Betsy, a “proud” female coal miner and patient of Keaton’s Dr. Finnix, who has a close relationship with her doctor, which is tested with the release of a new painkiller. Poulter plays Billy, a sales rep for Purdue Pharma hired to help launch the new painkiller drug OxyContin.
With a cast of awards darlings both rising — Dever earned Golden Globe and BAFTA nods for her role in Unbelievable, while Poulter has become a staple of indie genre hits — and established like Keaton and Sarsgaard, it’s clear that Hulu is aiming to make Dopesick its next awards season contender. The creative team behind the series is also very impressive, with an Emmy-winning writer in Danny Strong (Recount) and an Oscar-winning director in Barry Levinson (Rain Man). Strong and Levinson are executive producing Dopesick with Keaton, John Goldwyn, Littlefield via the Littlefield Company, Macy and Karen Rosenfelt.
The opioid crisis has long been overdue a prestige drama addressing it, as films and TV have made allusions to the crisis that has taken hold of the U.S. in recent decades, but few have tackled it head-on in scripted form. It’s for sure a heavy subject, but one that this team and cast can probably do justice.
Dopesick is set to premiere on Hulu in 2021.
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