The Netflix film, helmed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Tobias Lindholm (“The Investigation”), tells the disturbingly true tale of serial killer nurse Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), who is believed to have murdered as many as 400 patients over the course of his 16-year career in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Cullen killed patients by administering lethal doses of insulin and other potentially fatal drugs; he confessed to killing up to 40 people and is currently serving 17 consecutive life sentences in prison.
Cullen’s coworker and fellow nurse Amy Loughren (Chastain) ultimately led to Cullen’s capture. Loughren grew suspicious of Cullen after detectives investigated an unusual death at the hospital where they worked.
Based on Charles Graeber’s 2013 book “The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder,” the thriller premieres October 19 in theaters and on Netflix October 26.
Chastain told Entertainment Weekly that learning about the true horrors at the hands of Cullen made her “very disappointed in the hospital system and for-profit medicine and the idea that this could go on for so long and be covered up.” Chastain called whistleblower Loughren “a real-life superhero.”
“My dad’s a fireman paramedic, my brother serves in the military,” Chastain explained, “so often we’re surrounded by people who are doing the work to make all of our lives healthy and safe, and oftentimes they go unnoticed, so I was really excited about using this opportunity to amplify her and her story and her courage.”
Both Chastain and Redmayne went to “nursing school” to prepare for their respective roles and spoke with Loughren. Redmayne also worked with “The Theory of Everything” movement coach Alexandra Reynolds to perfect the “spider-like” movement as Cullen.
He added that Cullen infamously “weaponized his empathy so extraordinarily against these vulnerable people” to gain his victims’ trust. “It was really frightening to see how someone — as damaged and with his history, how he could’ve got into a position in which he had such power over vulnerable people,” Redmayne shared. “He was hiding in plain sight.”
Check out the trailer below.