Michael Keaton to Star in Opioid Drama for Hulu


Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for Dopesick, starring and executive produced by Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton (Birdman, Spotlight).

The project, based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Beth Macy, comes to Hulu from FOX 21 Television Studios and The Littlefield Company. Looking into the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, the eight-episode limited series takes viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community to the hallways of the DEA and to the opulence of “one percenter” Big Pharma Manhattan.

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.

The series comes from Emmy Award-winning writer Danny Strong (Empire, Recount, Game Change). It will be directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson (Paterno, Rain Man).

Dopesick is set to premiere in 2021.

Craig Erwich, senior VP of originals at Hulu, said: “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.”

Bert Salke, president at FOX 21 Television Studios, added: “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.”

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