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Dopesick - What We Know So Far

The opioid crisis that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the past two decades is getting dramatized in the upcoming Hulu limited series "Dopesick." The show tells the story of how America got hooked on — and ravaged from the inside out by — these prescription painkillers drugs.

Here's the official description from Hulu: "Dopesick examines how one company triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history. The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America's struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Big Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA. Defying all the odds, heroes will emerge in an intense and thrilling ride to take down the craven corporate forces behind this national crisis and their allies."

The limited series has an impressive cast and an important message, and it seems sure to make an impact when it lands on Hulu this fall. Here's what we know about its release date, cast, and plot.

What is Dopesick's release date?

"Dopesick" will begin streaming on Hulu on Wednesday, October 13. Hulu accompanied the date announcement with a trailer for the series that makes it look like it may have the tone of an "all the pieces matter" crime epic about institutional corruption and failure in the vein of "The Wire."

The eight-episode series comes from writer Danny Strong, who co-created "Empire" with Lee Daniels and won an Emmy for writing the HBO movie "Game Change" in 2012. It's directed by Barry Levinson, the acclaimed director of classic movies like "Rain Man" and "Diner." Strong and Levinson are both executive producers, along with star Michael Keaton and powerful television development executive Warren Littlefield, who also produces "Fargo" and "The Handmaid's Tale."

The series is based on the nonfiction book "Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America" by journalist Beth Macy.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the series was primarily filmed in the Richmond, Virginia area.

Who is in the cast of Dopesick?

"Dopesick" has a large ensemble cast packed with excellent actors.

Michael Keaton is the top-billed member of the ensemble. The star of back-to-back Best Picture winners plays Dr. Samuel Finnix, a doctor in rural Virginia who begins prescribing OxyContin to his patients against his better judgment because he was assured that it was safe by people like slick pharmaceutical representative Billy (Will Poulter, star of "Midsommar" and "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch").

"Unbelievable" and "Booksmart" star Kaitlyn Dever plays Betsy, a patient of Finnix's who gets caught in a downward spiral of addiction after being prescribed opioids to deal with the chronic pain she has as a result of her manual labor job.

Rosario Dawson plays a DEA agent named Bridget Meyer who sees firsthand the worsening effects of the opioid crisis.

Familiar Hulu faces John Hoogenakker ("Castle Rock") and Peter Sarsgaard ("The Looming Tower") play Randy Ramseyer and Rick Mountcastle, respectively, Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Virginia who are part of the case prosecuting Purdue Pharma executives who helped create the opioid crisis.

And Michael Stuhlbarg — recently seen on Showtime's "Your Honor" — plays Purdue Pharma president Richard Sackler.

What is the plot of Dopesick?

"Dopesick" will follow the story of how Purdue Pharma manufactured an addiction crisis that has impacted just about everyone in America in one way or another by deceptively marketing OxyContin as a non-habit-forming wonder drug. It examines the human toll of the crisis by focusing on individual characters, some of whom are real people but most of whom are composite characters.

"I was trying to represent the totality and the universality of the experience. In some cases we have real life characters and we're watching them do what they did ... I thought that for the victims, creating composite characters we could get more anecdotes of what really happened," writer Danny Strong said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, according to Deadline.

The show is meant to bring more attention to the drug crisis that continues to ravage rural communities in particular. "It's satisfying because I'm in a fortunate position where what I do for a living affords me an opportunity to possibly change things or affect people in some ways," star Michael Keaton said at TCA.

Sounds like true event TV.