Everything we know about the Netflix series ‘Painkiller’

The highly anticipated Netflix drama series “Painkiller,” which explores the aftermath of the opioid crisis in America, is coming to the streaming platform this week.

The Netflix original limited-series shares a fictionalized retelling of how chairman and president of Purdue Pharma, Richard Sackler, played by Matthew Broderick, pushed the newly developed drug Oxycontin into the market and the emerging opioid crisis that follows.

What is ‘Painkiller’ about?

“Painkiller” explores controversial business decisions made by Purdue Pharma — the company that developed OxyContin — specifically Arthur Sackler and his intense push to get the drug on the market.

“Everyone knows that the opioid crisis is bad,” director Pete Berg told the Hollywood Reporter. “But this is the origin story of the collision between medicine and money that allowed it to happen. How (eldest brother) Arthur Sackler, this psychiatrist from New York who specialized in lobotomies, started to realize that the future was in pills — specifically in advertising pills. Whoever could market their drug better was going to make the most money.”

The series also follows a young car mechanic (Taylor Kitsch) who begins taking OxyContin to cope with a debilitating back injury he suffered on the job and whose life is negatively impacted by the drug.

Several characters involved in the early creation and spread of the drug are also explored in the series, such as Britt Hufford (Dina Shihabi) a sales representative for Purdue Pharma who makes a fortune selling the drug and recruits young sales reps through boasting her luxurious lifestyle. The medical professionals Purdue paid to prescribe the addictive drug are also shown throughout the series, reports Collider.

“So much of this show is the conviction of a group of people,” executive producer Eric Newman told Entertainment Weekly.

Official ‘Painkiller’ synopsis

The official synopsis for “Painkiller” reads:

“A fictionalized retelling of events, Painkiller is a scripted limited series that explores some of the origins and aftermath of the opioid crisis in America, highlighting the stories of the perpetrators, victims, and truth-seekers whose lives are forever altered by the invention of OxyContin. An examination of crime, accountability, and the systems that have repeatedly failed hundreds of thousands of Americans, Painkiller is based on the book ‘Pain Killer’ by Barry Meier, and the New Yorker Magazine article ‘The Family That Built the Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe,” per Collider.

Who is in the ‘Painkiller’ cast?

Netflix’s upcoming miniseries, “Painkiller” boasts a star-studded cast including Broderick as Richard Sackler and Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers.

Here is a look at the “Painkiller” cast and the characters they play.

  • Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler: A descendent of a billionaire Sackler family and senior executive at Purdue Pharma, a company best known for developing OxyContin.
  • Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers: An investigator for the U.S. Attorney’s office who begins asking questions about the new drug, OxyContin and Purdue Pharma.
  • Taylor Kitsch as Glen Kryger: A car mechanic who becomes addicted to OxyContin after injuring his back at work.
  • Clark Gregg as Arthur Sackler, Sr.: An American psychiatrist, who made a fortune in medical advertising and marketing painkillers.
  • John Rothman as Mortimer Sackler: A psychiatrist and entrepreneur who co-owned Purdue Pharma with his brothers Arthur and Raymond.
  • Sam Anderson as Raymond Sackler: A physician and businessman who co-owned Purdue Pharma with his brothers Arthur and John.
  • Dina Shihabi as Britt Hufford: A Purdue Pharma sales representative.
  • West Duchovny as Shannon Schaeffer: A college dropout who gets recruited by Britt to be a Purde Pharma sales rep.

Is ‘Painkiller’ a sequel to ‘Dopesick’?

Not intentionally.

The 2021 Hulu original miniseries, “Dopesick” tackles some of the same ground as “Painkiller,” and also explores the early days of the opioid crisis in America.

Although both series follow Richard Sackler and other similar content, “Painkiller” executive producer Eric Newman is not worried. He assures audiences the his series is still worth watching.

“It’s something that we had to consider, being the second one … but my hope is that, though we cover some of the same ground, it’s not a lot of the same ground, and certainly tonally, we’re very different,” Newman told Entertainment Weekly.

“Painkiller” star Kitsch echoed Newman’s confidence in the upcoming Netflix series.

“(We are) not nervous after ‘Dopesick,’ not at all,” Kitsch told the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re a very different show.”

When does ‘Painkiller’ come out?

The six-episode miniseries lands on Netflix on Thursday, Aug. 10.

What is ‘Painkiller’ rated and why?

“Painkiller” is rated TV-MA for language and drug use.

Watch the trailer for ‘Painkiller’ below

Source link

Comments are closed.