Netflix has announced the cast list for their upcoming drama Painkiller. The six-episode limited series about the opioid crisis in America, which will be directed by Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights and The Leftovers fame.
Uzo Aduba and Matthew Broderick will star in the series. Aduba, known for starring in hit shows like Orange is the New Black and In Treatment, will be playing Edie, the lead investigator against Purdue. Broderick, a longtime Hollywood veteran known for hit movies like Election and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, will be playing Purdue Pharma senior executive Richard Sackler. Also in the cast are West Duchovny (The Magicians) who plays Shannon, a new Purdue sales team recruit; Dina Shihabi (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) as Britt, a veteran sales rep and mentor to Shannon; and John Rothman (One Mississippi) as Mortimer Sackler, co-owner of Purdue.
The opioid crisis in the United States has been one of the most devastating health epidemics in the last few decades. Investigations into companies like Purdue who marketed and sold narcotic painkillers to as many patients as they could get access to have resulted in millions of dollars in fines and a push to reform the way pain management is handled in medical practice today. The company was less than forthcoming about how addictive these substances were when communicating with doctors about the risks and benefits of these drugs. The high rates of addiction and dependency which patients suffer from have created a situation in which the cure is often worse than the disease.
Production for Painkiller is slated to begin in late 2021 in Toronto, Canada.