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‘Dopesick’ series to film in Virginia

Series inspired by Virginia author's bestselling book 'Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America'
Posted at 9:55 AM, Nov 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 09:55:16-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- “Dopesick,” a Hulu limited series will film in Virginia, according to Gov. Ralph Northam’s office. The series was inspired by Virginia author Beth Macy’s bestselling book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.”

The eight-episode series will film in Central Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley and Roanoke areas, according to a press release. “Dopesick” was developed by writer and executive producer Danny Strong.

A start date has not been announced but Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds said in an email that the production will add more than $40 million to the economy within eight months.

“Film production is an instant revenue generator, and one of the best industries to jump start an economy coming out of a pandemic,” Edmunds said.

Production must follow the health protocols as stated by the Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and other industry organizations. Other state guidelines regarding workplace safety during the pandemic will be followed.

“Film producers are accustomed to overcoming challenges on a daily basis,” Edmunds said. The film crew will use this experience to implement “on-set protocols including mitigation, testing and tracing.”

“Dopesick” will explore America’s opioid epidemic as Macy did in her novel. Macy’s book reflects 30 years of reporting in Southwest Virginia, according to her website.

Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Keaton will executive produce and star among other notable actors, including Peter Sarsgaard and Rosario Dawson.

Edmunds said the Virginia Film Office has followed Macy’s literary work for years. Macy is well-versed in telling other people’s stories. Her 2014 book, “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town” followed the story of Bassett Furniture Co. in Bassett. “Truevine,” Macy’s second book, details the story of two African American brothers who were kidnapped to be circus performers. She currently lives in Roanoke.

The film could have been produced anywhere although it is based in Virginia, according to Edmunds.

“Having Beth advocate for the authenticity of the project was undoubtedly a big help,” Edmunds said.

“Dopesick” will join other recent major productions filmed in Virginia including AMC’s “The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird,” and Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984.”

By Megan Lee, Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students participating in the program provide state government coverage for Virginia’s community newspapers and other media outlets.