“Dopesick” Series To Film In Virginia

by | Jan 4, 2021 | FILM & TV

Upcoming Hulu limited series Dopesick, based on a book by Virginia author Beth Macy, will be filming in the commonwealth in 2021, making it the latest in a list of notable productions filmed within Virginia’s borders.

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 book. Macy’s book reflects 30 years of reporting in Southwest Virginia, according to her website.

Rosario Dawson. Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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.

Written by Megan Lee, Capital News Service. Top Image: Michael Keaton photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0. Dopesick cover image via Little, Brown.



Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University's Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia. More information at vcucns.com

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