Netflix has released the new trailer and key art for its limited Painkiller series, premiering on the streaming service on Thursday, August 10. The series consists of 6 one-hour episodes.
A fictionalized retelling of events, Painkiller explores some of the origins and aftermath of the opioid crisis in America, highlighting the stories of the perpetrators, victims, and truth-seekers whose lives are forever altered by the invention of OxyContin.
An examination of crime, accountability, and the systems that have repeatedly failed hundreds of thousands of Americans, the Painkiller series is based on the book Pain Killer by Barry Meier and the New Yorker Magazine article “The Family That Built the Empire of Pain” by Patrick Radden Keefe.
The series is executive produced by Eric Newman, Peter Berg, Alex Gibney, and showrunners/creators Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster.
The guest stars include Clark Gregg, Jack Mulhern, Sam Anderson, Ana Cruz Kayne, Brian Markinson, Noah Harpster, John Ales, Johnny Sneed, Tyler Ritter, and Carolina Bartczak.
The Pain Killer novel is officially described as follows: “Between 1999 and 2017, an estimated 250,000 Americans died from overdoses involving prescription painkillers, a plague ignited by Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin. Families, working class and wealthy, have been torn apart, businesses destroyed, and public officials pushed to the brink.
“Meanwhile, the drugmaker’s owners, Raymond and Mortimer Sackler, whose names adorn museums worldwide, made enormous fortunes from the commercial success of OxyContin. In Pain Killer, Barry Meier tells the story of how Purdue turned OxyContin into a billion-dollar blockbuster.
“Powerful narcotic painkillers, or opioids, were once used as drugs of last resort for pain sufferers. But Purdue launched 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.”