Netflix just launched Painkiller, a limited series that would concentrate on America’s real-life opioid issue. This drama, starring Matthew Broderick and Uzo Aduba, will follow a fictitious version of events that led to one of America’s biggest crises in recent years.
The streaming service released a preview for the forthcoming film, providing an insight into the convoluted criminal environment that contributed to this massive problem. According to the synopsis:
“Explores the origins and aftermath of America’s opioid crisis, highlighting the stories of perpetrators, victims, and truth-seekers whose lives have been forever changed by the invention of OxyContin.” [It is] an investigation of crime, accountability, and the institutions that have failed hundreds of thousands of Americans on many occasions.”
Painkiller will have six episodes and will debut on Netflix on August 10, 2023.
Trailer for Painkiller: Pain, Pleasure, and Greed
The trailer for Painkiller shows the emergence of OxyContin, a legally prescribable narcotic that is often blamed for America’s opioid problem. It focuses on the profiteers, the drug’s domination in the American market, and those who want to stop it. The teaser also emphasizes the series’ producers’ realistic approach, as well as some stunning photography and sound work.
Painkiller is based on Barry Meier’s book of the same name and Patrick Radden Keefe’s New Yorker Magazine piece The Family That Built the Empire of Pain. Instead of presenting actual events, it will recount the tale in a fictitious form. Director Peter Berg discussed the project at Netflix’s Tudum, revealing some important insights. He stated:
“Everyone understands how severe the opioid problem is…But here is the genesis tale of the clash of medicine and money that made it possible. One of the many things I believed was lacking [from the OxyContin discussion] was the drug’s entrance into mainstream medicine.”
He went on to say:
“How Arthur Sackler, this New York psychiatrist who specialized in lobotomies, began to realize that the future was in pills — specifically, advertising pills.” Whoever could best advertise their medicine would earn the most money…We wanted to make it clear that there may be some comical moments in this play, but we don’t believe the Sackler family, Purdue, or the opioid problem are remotely amusing.”
Eric Newman, the executive producer, emphasized the significance of this limited series, saying:
“We wanted to mirror the effects of opioids: the warmth, hope, and relief of taking a pill that’s going to deliver you from your suffering and then watching it become suffering.”
Aside from the two stars, Painkiller has a star-studded ensemble that includes Taylor Kitsch, Dina Shihabi, West Duchovny, and John Rothman. Clark Gregg, Jack Mulhern, Sam Anderson, Ana Cruz Kayne, Brian Markinson, Noah Harpster, John Ales, Johnny Sneed, Tyler Ritter, and Carolina Bartczak make appearances as well. On August 10, 2023, Netflix will release Painkiller.