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Netflix Announces “Painkiller”, a Gripping New Drama About America’s Opioid Crisis From Executive Producer Eric Newman

Netflix announces a new scripted drama and limited series about the opioid crisis.


Emmy Award® Winner Peter Berg Set To Direct all Episodes of Limited Series

  • Netflix today announced Painkiller, a new scripted drama and limited series about the origins of the opioid crisis.  

  • Eric Newman (Children of Men) will serve as Executive Producer as part of his overall deal with Netflix where he is showrunner on Narcos and Narcos: Mexico

  • Emmy Award® nominated writing duo Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, Transparent) will write and serve as Showrunners and Executive Producers.

  • Academy Award® and Emmy Award® winner Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Enron: The Smartest Guys In the Room) will serve as Executive Producer. 

  • Patrick Radden Keefe (Dirty Money) who wrote New Yorker’s ‘The Family That Built An Empire of Pain’ and Barry Meier, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of the groundbreaking book Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic will both consult on Painkiller. Their respective master works serve as underlying material for the series.

  • Sports Emmy Award® Winner Peter Berg (The Leftovers, Friday Night Lights) will direct all eight episodes of the limited series. 

  • Quote from Eric Newman: “A tragedy decades in the making, the opioid crisis has become one of the most devastating public health crises of our time. Unlike other drug epidemics, born from underground manufacturing and covert smuggling, this epidemic began by prescription--dispensed by doctors, approved by government regulators, and promoted by a family-owned pharmaceutical giant that made billions while betraying the trust of patients and the public. I’m grateful to Micah & Noah, and Alex for bringing this story to me.  Noah and Micah’s narrative of how it happened, based on the spectacular reporting of Patrick Radden Keefe and Barry Meier, is heartbreaking and terrifying.  I’m honored to be working with the great Alex Gibney and I’m thrilled that Peter Berg is coming on to direct it.” 

  • Quote from Peter Berg: “I am really charged to be a part of such an in depth exploration of the genesis of the opioid travesty. Companies that profit off of death and addiction are fair game to me when it comes to illuminating the realities of how they go about their business.”

    Quote from Cindy Holland, Vice President, Content, Netflix: “Eric Newman has masterfully chronicled the drug trade for years and now I’m excited to see him join forces with the incredible Alex Gibney, Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster to take a more expansive view of the opioid epidemic. Combined with the directing of Peter Berg, Painkiller promises to be a powerful look behind the headlines of a tragedy happening in real time.

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