Michael Keaton is returning to television — well, to a streaming service anyway. Hulu has given a series order to Dopesick, a limited drama series that’s based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Beth Macy. Keaton will star, Danny Strong will write the project, and Barry Levinson will direct the eight episodes.
Here’s the press release:
HULU ANNOUNCES STRAIGHT-TO-SERIES ORDER FOR “DOPESICK” FROM EMMY AWARD(R)-WINNING WRITER DANNY STRONG STARRING ACADEMY AWARD(R) NOMINEE AND GOLDEN GLOBE(R)-WINNING ACTOR MICHAEL KEATON
Academy Award Winner Barry Levinson will Direct the Limited Series from Emmy Award-Winning Producer Warren Littlefield and FOX 21 Television Studios
SANTA MONICA, CA (June 17, 2020) – Today Hulu announced a straight-to-series order for Dopesick from Emmy Award-winning writer Danny Strong (Empire, RECOUNT, GAME CHANGE). The eight-episode limited series will star Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton and will be directed by Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson (Paterno, RAIN MAN). The project, based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Beth Macy, comes to Hulu from FOX 21 Television Studios and The Littlefield Company.
“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,” said Craig Erwich, SVP of Originals, Hulu.
“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,” said Bert Salke, President, FOX 21 Television Studios.
Dopesick, an ambitious, harrowing, and compelling look into the epicenter of America’s struggle with Opioid addiction, takes viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA, and 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.
After 13 years, Michael 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.
Michael Keaton received an Academy Award nomination for his lead role in BIRDMAN followed by his acclaimed performance in SPOTLIGHT. Both films won the Academy Award for Best Picture back to back. Upcoming, Keaton will also appear in Aaron Sorkin’s THE TRIAL OF CHICAGO 7, Sony’s Marvel action film MORBIUS and Martin Campbell’s action thriller THE ASSET.
“I’m so thrilled to tell this story with a company as bold and as daring as Hulu,” said Danny 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.”
Having major success this year with the adaptations of High Fidelity, Little Fires Everywhere and Normal People, Hulu adds Dopesick to its growing slate of compelling and relevant limited series such as The Act, Castle Rock and Catch-22 along with the upcoming Nine Perfect Strangers and The Dropout. Dopesick is set to premiere in 2021.
Dopesick is written by Danny Strong and directed by Barry Levinson. Executive producers for Dopesick include Strong, John Goldwyn (Dexter), Levinson, Warren Littlefield (The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, The Old Man), Beth Macy (Dopesick) and Karen Rosenfelt (TWILIGHT). Dopesick is a production of FOX 21 Television Studios.
Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. Launched in 2008, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy(R) and Golden Globe Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale and The Act, Golden Globe Award-winning series Ramy, Emmy(R) Award-nominated series including The Looming Tower, Catch-22, Castle Rock, and Pen15 alongside hit series Marvel’s Runaways, Dollface, Shrill and Oscar(R) and Emmy(R)-nominated documentary film Minding the Gap. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Recent hit Hulu Originals include Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, the TV adaptation of best-selling novel Normal People and comedy series The Great. Upcoming Original releases include The Dropout based on the ABC News investigative podcast and starring Kate McKinnon and the book to screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.
ABOUT FOX 21 TELEVISION STUDIOS:
Fox 21 Television Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios, is devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television Studios is responsible for the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (with FX Productions), as well as its follow-up The Assassination of Gianni Versace which also won the Emmy and Golden Globe for Outstanding Limited Series; the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin which completed its eighth and final season this year; the Emmy-winning Fosse/Verdon (with FX Productions) from award-winning producers Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Joel Fields and Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams; the blockbuster Sons of Anarchy as well as its follow-up Mayans M.C. (with FX Productions) from co-creators Kurt Sutter and Elgin James; Queen of the South, executive produced by David T. Friendly, Dailyn Rodriguez and Benjamin Daniel Lobato; the Emmy winning Pose (with FX Productions) from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Alexis Martin Woodall and Sherry Marsh; the Emmy-nominated Genius franchise which will air its third installment Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Erivo this fall; and the Golden Globe-nominated The Politician from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan and starring Tony-winner Ben Platt and Oscar winners Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange. Upcoming series include Ryan Murphy’s Ratched starring Golden Globe and Emmy winner Sarah Paulson in the title role; The Old Man (with FX Productions and The Littlefield Company) starring Academy Award winning Jeff Bridges and six-time Emmy winner John Lithgow and the newest installment of American Crime Story entitled American Crime Story: Impeachment (with FX Productions) starring Sarah Paulson, Beanie Feldstein and Annaleigh Ashford. Fox 21 Television Studios shows have amassed a collective 120 Emmy nominations and 34 Emmy wins, as well as multiple Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes and Peabody Awards.
What do you think? Do you like the sound of the Dopesick TV series? Do you plan to check out this Hulu TV show?