Michael Keaton has signed on to star in Hulu’s in-development limited series Dopesick, which revolves around the current opioid crisis ravaging America. Oscar winner Barry Levinson will direct from a script by Emmy winner Danny Strong (Game Change), who adapted Beth Macy‘s bestselling book of the same name.
Hulu describes the show as “an ambitious, harrowing, and compelling look into the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction. The show takes viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA, to 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”.
Keaton will play Samuel Finnix, an old-school doctor who approaches his practice with kindness and compassion, but finds himself embroiled in Big Pharma’s deadly secret. This will be his first major TV role since 2007’s TNT miniseries The Company, made during his years in the acting wilderness before 2014’s Birdman made him a star again.
“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”, said Hulu’s Craig Erwich in a statement. “The system failed us and Dopesick is going to show everyone how it all happened”, added Strong.
Keaton is always a consummate pro and compelling presence. He could star in a limited series about the cracker factory Milhouse’s dad works at on The Simpsons and make it thrilling. So putting him at the centre of a drama about a very real drug crisis is only a recipe for success.
The series will join other Hulu originals such as Little Fires Everywhere, Normal People, High Fidelity and The Great. The show is expected to premiere sometime in 2021.