One of our most anticipated upcoming limited series on Netflix is Painkiller, a new series that’s set to feature the talents of Taylor Kitsch, Matthew Broderick, Dina Shihabi, and Uzo Aduba. Here’s a rundown of everything we know so far about Netflix’s Painkiller which is expected to arrive in 2022.
Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster serve as the writers and showrunners behind the show. The pair both served as producers on Amazon Prime’s Transparent.
Following Painkiller the showrunners are currently working on their next project called The United States of America Vs. Vince McMahon with WWE and Blumhouse TV producing.
Eric Newman through his production company Grand Electric, Tim Berg through Film 44, and Alex Gibney through Jigsaw Pictures are all also working on the project.
There will be six 60-minute episodes that make up the limited series.
What is Painkiller on Netflix about?
The limited series is about the origins of the Opioid crisis that continues to have damaging effects across the United States. Here’s some context on the problem and what the series will cover:
“Pain Killer, exposes the roots of the most pressing health epidemic of the twenty-first century. Powerful narcotic painkillers, or opioids, were once used as drugs of last resort for pain sufferers. Purdue turned OxyContin into a billion dollar blockbuster by launching an unprecedented marketing
campaign claiming that the drug’s long-acting formulation made it safer to use than traditional painkillers for many types of pain. That illusion was quickly shattered as drug abusers learned that crushing an Oxy could release its narcotic payload all at once. Even in its prescribed form, Oxy proved fiercely addictive. As OxyContin’s use and abuse grew, Purdue concealed what it knew from regulators, doctors, and patients.
Here are the people who profited from the crisis and those who paid the price, those who plotted in boardrooms and those who tried to sound alarm bells. A country doctor in rural Virginia, Art Van Zee, took on Purdue and warned officials about OxyContin abuse. An ebullient high school cheerleader, Lindsey Myers, was reduced to stealing from her parents to feed her escalating Oxy habit. A hard-charging DEA official, Laura Nagel, tried to hold Purdue executives to account. The drugmaker’s owners, Raymond and Mortimer Sackler, whose names adorn museums worldwide, made enormous fortunes from the commercial success of OxyContin.”
The show is based on real-world events that were documented by an in-depth New Yorker piece from Patrick Radden Keefe published in October 2017. That was later followed up by Keefe’s book called Empire of Pain. The piece was entitled “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain” and goes into detail on the Sackler dynasty. Keefe serves as a consultant on the series.
The series also uses material from Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic a book written by Barry Meier.
It’s not the first time the Sackler family has seen their story translated onto our screens. They notably featured in the HBO documentary Crime of the Century and more recently, the 2021 Hulu/Star Original mini-series Dopesick.
Who is the cast of Painkiller on Netflix?
Let’s now run through the impressive cast for Painkiller. The majority of the cast was announced in July 2021.
- Uzo Aduba (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) as Edie
- Matthew Broderick (Netflix’s Daybreak and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) as Richard Sackler
- West Duchovny (Vegas High) as Shannon Schaeffer
- Dina Shihabi (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) as Britt Hufford
- Taylor Kitsch (21 Bridges and Friday Night Lights) as Glen Kryger
- Sam Anderson (Forrest Gump) as Raymond Sackler
- Carolina Bartczak (Moonfall) as Lily Kryger
- Jack Mulhern (Netflix’s The Society) as Tyler Kryger
- John Ales (Netflix’s True Story) as Gregory Fitzgibbons
- Ana Kayne as Brianna Ortiz
- Brian Markinson as Howard Udell
- Ron Lea as Bill Havens
- Tyler Ritter as John Brownlee
- John Rothman as Mortimer Sackle
Where is Netflix’s Painkiller in production? Where is the series filmed?
The series had the working title of “TAMARACK” throughout its production which is where we first heard about the project before its formal unveiling.
Insauga notably wrote about the series filming in Hamilton just outside Lopresti Pharmacy on Concession Street and East 31st Street with the pharmacy exterior being replaced to say “Value Pharmacy”.
The Spec also notes that some of the show was “filmed on Barton Street East, near Lottridge Street, and at the Sheraton Hotel.”
In addition, ProductionWeekly reports that some of the production was due to take place in New York City.
Filming on the series started on August 9th, 2021, and ran through to November 5th, 2021. It’s worth noting the original wrap date was for early October 2021.
Producer on the series, Alex Gibney, visited the set in October 2021 and shared some of his thoughts on the production:
Had a great time visiting the set of “Painkiller” in Toronto. Im an EP on the scripted film re opioid crisis. Written by @noahharpster & Micah Fitzerman-Blue and directed by Pete Berg. Starring Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler. Boldly captures the insanity of what happened.
— Alex Gibney (@alexgibneyfilm) October 27, 2021
Below, a number of eagle-eyed Twitter users were able to capture snaps of the production.
@WhatsFilmingON , Filming in Hamilton, Concession Street. Saw a paper with "ruby leaf pictures" and "tamarack" written on it. pic.twitter.com/SPkKapYxKO
— Frederic Chabot (@f_chabot) August 10, 2021
Netflix’s Painkiller is filming at Carlton and Sherbourne.
Thanks, @ahondaodyssey for the update! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/7gEPLnF0il
— Toronto Filming (@TOFilming_EM) September 25, 2021
“Friday Night Lights” star, Taylor Kitsch spotted out in Toronto. As he just wrapped filming new Netflix series “Painkillers”. @TOFilming_EM
For More Pics of #TaylorKitsch out in Toronto. Check out our Patreon
.#fridaynightlights #johncarter #spotted pic.twitter.com/TyWr2T3Xug
— onset_toronto (@onset_toronto) November 8, 2021
You can add Painkiller to your Netflix queue using the direct link here. They label the show as being a “social issue TV drama” and “heartfelt”.
Are you looking forward to watching Painkiller on Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.