Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick to Lead Netflix Opioid Crisis Drama ‘Painkiller’

Uzo Aduba Matthew Broderick
Courtesy of Robert Maxwell/Variety; Tawni Bannister

Uzo Aduba and Matthew Broderick are set for two of the lead roles in the Netflix drama series “Painkiller,” Variety has learned.

The six-episode limited series is about the origins of the opioid crisis in America. Along with Aduba and Broderick, the series will also star West Duchovny, Dina Shihabi, and John Rothman. Production is set to air later this year in Toronto.

Aduba (“In Treatment,” “Orange Is the New Black”) will star as Edie, an investigator leading the case against Purdue. Broderick (“Election,” “Manchester by the Sea”) will star as Richard Sackler, scion of the billionaire Sackler family and senior executive at Purdue Pharma.

Duchovny (“Linoleum,” “The Magicians”) will play Shannon, a new recruit to the Purdue sales team. Shihabi (“Archive 81,” “Ramy,” “Jack Ryan”) will appear as Britt, a veteran sales rep for Purdue. Rothman (“One Mississippi,” “Ghostbusters”) will play Mortimer Sackler, co-owner of Purdue Pharma.

Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster will write and serve as showrunners and executive producers on the series. The pair recently wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and previously collaborated on the Emmy-winning Amazon series “Transparent.”

“Narcos: Mexico” showrunner Eric Newman will executive produce under his overall deal with Netflix. Peter Berg is attached to direct all episodes of the series and will now also serve as an executive producer. Alex Gibney will also executive produce.

Patrick Radden Keefe, who wrote New Yorker’s “The Family That Built An Empire of Pain,” and Barry Meier, the 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. Their works serve as underlying material for the series.