Netflix’s new limited series covering the opioid epidemic, Painkiller, has been getting rave reviews and is expected to pull in big numbers when its viewing stats get announced in the weeks to come. While there are no plans for a season, we have news about other projects from the team behind Painkiller and a few other recommendations.
Debuting on Netflix in early August 2023, Painkiller is a fictionalized retelling of the opioid epidemic, specifically looking into the drug OxyContin and how it managed to inflict an untold amount of pain upon those who were prescribed it.
The show has rocketed up the Netflix charts since debuting, with the story’s accuracy praised and excellent performances from Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick, and Taylor Kitsch.
Will Painkiller be back for season 2 on Netflix?
Given it’s a limited series, that means that from the outset, Netflix planned for the show to be a single season and wrap up its story in one go. If you’ve reached the end of Painkiller, you’ll know it does just that.
Of course, many Netflix projects that have been dubbed as limited series before have come back for revivals or spin-offs.
Two Ryan Murphy shows that debuted in 2022, for instance, are returning for new installments despite not being the plan originally. Those examples are Monster and The Watcher.
Netflix could tackle other big pharma scandals down the line (lord knows, there’s enough of them) with spin-offs, but for now, Painkiller on Netflix is one season and done.
What to Watch After Finishing Painkiller on Netflix
We’ve got several pieces of good news for those wanting more Painkiller (or something similar) in the short to medium term.
Let’s dig in:
Netflix Has Another Opioid Movie Releasing in 2023
Coming in October 2023 is Pain Hustlers starring Chris Evans and Emily Blunt, and is based on the New York Times article from Evan Hughes.
Directed by David Yates, this new movie follows a blue-collar woman struggling to raise her daughter who takes a job at a failing pharmaceutical start-up, only to get involved in a dangerous racketeering scheme. The organization in question is peddling the type of drugs that are featured in the Netflix series.
Pain Hustlers arrives on Netflix globally on October 27th.
The creative team behind Painkiller has lots of new projects in the works.
Painkiller comes from several different production companies, including Jigsaw Productions, Blue Harp, Film 44, and Grand Electric.
The latter two are run by Peter Berg and Eric Newman, both with Netflix under expansive overall deals. Berg directed all six episodes of Painkiller while Newman was an executive producer.
Both have a robust slate of upcoming titles, including:
- American Primeval is a Western-inspired thriller series about the birth of the American West. Taylor Kitsch to star. (both are working on this – Berg to direct)
- Griselda, a new crime limited series from Grand Electric set to debut in late 2023.
- Narcos: El Chapo, a yet-to-be-confirmed follow-up sequel series to Narcos with Grand Electric producing.
- Rebel Moon (exec produced by Grand Electric)
- Spenser Confidential 2, a sequel to the Mark Wahlberg movie with Berg producing again.
- Zero Day, a new thriller series starring Robert De Niro (Grand Electric producing)
Netflix has several big pharmaceutical documentaries
Netflix also has a few other documentaries that either tackle the opioid epidemic or big pharma. Highlights include:
- The Pharmacist (4 episodes) – This one directly covers the epidemic as a small-town pharmacist uncovers the truth behind rocketing overdoses.
- Heroin(E) (2017) – Oscar-nominated documentary about three women wall battling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.
- Take Your Pills (2018) and Take Your Pills: Xanax (2022) – Looks into over-prescription drugs like Adderall and Xanax.
- Dirty Money: Drug Short (Season 1 – Episode 3) – Looks into how one company was buying up patents to drugs and simply driving up the price until the house of cards collapsed.
- [Un]Well (6 Episodes) – This docuseries takes a deep dive into the lucrative wellness industry, which touts health and healing. But do the products live up to the promises?
Away from Netflix, if you really want more Painkiller, you may want to give Hulu (Disney+ for those internationally) a spin with their 2021 scripted series, Dopesick. It covers the same underlying problems and was a big awards play for the rival streamer picking up 14 nominations at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Would you like to see Painkiller come back for another season? Let us know in the comments.