The harrowing reality of opioid addiction is invading the small-screen with some major star power. Michael Keaton is set to executive produce and star in the new series Dopesick from Empire co-creator Danny Strong. The series was given an eight-episode straight-to-series order from Hulu and is to be directed by Rain Man director Barry Levinson. The series comes from Fox 21 Television Studios and The Littlefield Company and is based on the bestselling book Dopesick by Beth Macy.

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The series joins other depictions of the opioid epidemic including the forthcoming Netflix series from Narcos: Mexico showrunner Eric Newman and Peter Berg, along with the Starz drama Hightown, which was recently renewed for a second season. The series continues a career resurgence for Keaton which kicked into overdrive in the past decade with his Best Actor nomination for Birdman: Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. Keaton will play the role of an old-school doctor, Samuel Finnix, who approaches his practice with kindness and compassion, but finds himself embroiled in Big Pharma’s deadly secret.

Variety had the following information on what we can expect from the series:

The series is described as “an ambitious, harrowing, and compelling look into the epicenter of America’s struggle with Opioid addiction,” taking the audience from a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA, and to the opulence of “one percenter” Big Pharma Manhattan. It will aim to offer human portraits of the various affected families and their intersecting stories, holding up a mirror to where America is right now, while shining a hopeful light on the heroes battling the worst drug epidemic in the nation’s history history.

“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 at Hulu.

The opioid epidemic is one of the most serious issues facing our society today. Tell us how you feel about the topic getting so much screen time over on Twitter.

Source: Variety

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