Michael Keaton is no stranger to true stories where lies are exposed within corrupt organizations, lest anyone forget his Best Picture winner “Spotlight,” or for that matter, the 2010 comedy “The Other Guys.” But he is a relative outsider when it comes to TV. “Dopesick,” an upcoming Hulu limited series about a pharmaceutical company that set off the worst drug epidemic in American history, will bring Keaton to both, and fans of the former Batman (and “Multiplicity” icon) can check out the first trailer below.
Hulu also announced the release date during the show’s TCA panel, setting the premiere for October 13. Per Hulu, here’s the official synopsis:
“Dopesick” examines how one company triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history. The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Big Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA. Defying all the odds, heroes will emerge in an intense and thrilling ride to take down the craven corporate forces behind this national crisis and their allies.
Keaton, who also serves as an executive producer, stars as Dr. Samuel Finnix, a doctor who’s suspicious of a new miracle drug being pushed on him by Billy (Will Poulter), a young pharmaceutical rep. Michael Stuhlbarg co-stars as Richard Sackler, a businessman and the drug’s biggest backer, while Kaitlyn Dever plays Betsy, a young coal miner who gets prescribed opioids for a back condition and forms a devastating addiction. Rosario Dawson portrays a police officer named Bridget Meyer who witnesses the drug’s effect on communities first-hand. John Hoogenakker, Phillipa Soo, and Jake McDorman round out the cast.
Joining Keaton as executive producers are Danny Strong, who also wrote the limited series; Barry Levinson, who also directed; John Goldwyn, Warren Littlefield, Beth Macy (who wrote the book on which “Dopesick” is based), and Karen Rosenfelt.
Before breaking big in “Beetlejuice” and “Batman,” Keaton did appear in multiple episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (1974-’75), “All’s Fair” (1977), “The Mary Tyler Moore Hour” (1979), and “Working Stiffs” (1979), among other TV programs.
“I did things here and there on television, but not much,” Keaton said. “Pound for pound, [TV] has gotten so good over the last 10 years [or so]. Quality is quality, so in this instance […] the writing was so good […] it just gets very obvious; when you read something that’s good, it gets real clear, real quick, and the words just jump off the page. For me, it just kind of doesn’t matter [if it’s TV or film].”
Watch the trailer for “Dopesick” below. The limited series premieres Wednesday, October 13.