Justin Theroux has the solution to all your problems — and it’s “The Leftovers.” OK, OK. While that (excellent) advice
may be is true, it’s the actor’s character in “Maniac” who’s actually promising to have all the answers. He’s even got the release date for the series! All episodes drop Sept. 21 on Netflix.
Dr. James K. Mathleray, Theroux’s role in Cary Fukunaga’s upcoming Netflix series co-starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, is the inventor of a radical new pharmaceutical treatment that promises to fix any mental or emotional deficiency. Is your heart broken? There’s a pill for that. Are you worried you’ve been misdiagnosed by your psychologist? Don’t worry, pop a pill. Do you think Justin Theroux deserved to be snubbed at the Emmys for his three remarkable seasons of impeccable work in “The Leftovers”? It’s OK! These pills will fix even that extremely troubling mental disorder.
Created by Patrick Somerville and directed by Fukunaga, the eight-part first season of “Maniac” is based on a Norwegian series of the same name. All of the original series is streaming now on Netflix, but the streaming giant also released the first detailed synopsis of Somerville and Fukunaga’s version below. (And, if we’re being honest, it wasn’t Mathleray who told us the release date. It was Netflix Vice President of Original Content, Cindy Holland. She announced it during the network’s presentation at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday.)
Set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time, “Maniac” tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons. Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Neither of their lives has turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment—a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak—draws them and 10 other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently. Things do not go as planned.
“Maniac” premieres Friday, Sept. 21 on Netflix. Watch the first-look announcement below.