David Yates' film adaptation of Evan Hughes' book debuts in select theaters Oct. 20 and premieres Oct. 27 on Netflix.
Emily Blunt and Chris Evans are hustling their way straight to the top of a criminal pharmaceutical scheme in their newest flick.
On Wednesday, Netflix debuted the first trailer for Pain Hustlers, which stars the actors as pharmaceutical sales employees pushing opioids in a story based on real events.
Blunt plays Liza Drake, a blue-collar single mom who has just lost her job and is at the end of her rope. A chance meeting with pharmaceutical sales rep Pete Brenner (Evans) puts her on an upward trajectory economically but a dubious path ethically as she becomes entangled in a dangerous racketeering scheme.
Liza must juggle the shenanigans that come along with dealing with her increasingly unhinged boss (Andy Garcia), the worsening medical condition of her daughter (Chloe Coleman) and a growing awareness of the devastation the company is causing. Liza is forced to examine her career choices as the consequences of her actions begin to unravel her high-earning, hard-partying lifestyle.
Directed by BAFTA award winner David Yates, Pain Hustlers also features Catherine O’Hara, Jay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James, Amit Shah, Aubrey Dollar and Willie Raysor.
Pain Hustlers was written by Wells Tower, adapted from Evan Hughes's 2018 article published in The New York Times Magazine and the subsequent book Pain Hustlers: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup. Netflix secured worldwide distribution rights to the film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
"I spent such a long time on green-screen studios creating these massive environments and these crazy creatures. So, it was really going back to my roots. It's going way back," Yates told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the movie's debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The director made his mark on a generation after helming the final four movies in the Harry Potter franchise, as well as all three Fantastic Beasts films. But before diving into that fantastical world, he worked in TV period dramas and thrillers.
"There wasn't a visual effect in sight [in those television series]. So the beauty of Pain Hustlers for me was to come back to those roots, to come back to where the most exciting thing in a scene is an authentic moment between two actors rather than a big special effect," he added. "It was a welcome return to doing things that I'd done a lot of previous to entering the Harry Potter world."
"I've always been fascinated by salespeople and what they do and the moral side of the pharma industry when they're hustling to make money," Yates told the outlet. "Elements of the story are obviously consistent to what Evan Hughes documented in his book, but we created Liza Drake, we created the relationship she has with her daughter, Phoebe, just as a way of allowing the audience to connect with a single character and carry us through the story."
Pain Hustlers is in select theaters Oct. 20 and streaming Oct. 27 on Netflix.