Every controversial subject, whether it be a person or potentially revolutionary technological breakthrough, seems to get their own movie or television series these days. And that happens to be the case for the story of Elizabeth Holmes, the embattled founder of Theranos, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur with an amazing idea that simply just did not work, no matter how hard she, and her investors, tried. And while there have been attempts to tell the story of Holmes’ rise and fall in the past, most notably the long-in-the-works Jennifer Lawrence-led Theranos movie, it seems like it’s finally going to happen with Hulu's limited series, The Dropout.
The Theranos TV show, which has been in the works for a number of years now, will be a limited series dramatizing Elizabeth Holmes’ monumental rise as an intelligent, eager, and over-zealous tech entrepreneur and devastating fall from grace after it was discovered her revolutionary blood-testing technology just didn’t work. Here’s everything we know about The Dropout from its podcast roots to growing cast and more.
Amanda Seyfried Is Portraying Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes
When The Dropout debuts on Hulu at some point in the near future, it will be Amanda Seyfried taking on the role of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Seyfried, who is coming off her Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated Mank performance, was first revealed to be cast in the Theranos TV show’s lead role in March 2021, per Variety, a little more than a month after the limited series’ original star, Saturday Night Live mainstay Kate McKinnon dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons.
In addition to leading the show in front of the camera, Amanda Seyfried has also come on board as one of The Dropout’s producers, a role Kate McKinnon also held until her departure in February 2021.
Naveen Andrews Has Joined The Dropout Cast As Sunny Balwani
Starring alongside Amanda Seyfried in The Dropout will be Naveen Andrews, who will be taking on the role of Elizabeth Holmes’ business partner and secret boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, according to Deadline. Those familiar with the Theranos story will remember how much of a role the real life Balwani played in both the rise and eventual fall of the company and who is currently awaiting to be tried on charges alleging he operated the business as a scheme to defraud investors, doctors, and patients alongside Holmes.
Naveen Andrews is probably best remembered as a fixture on the Lost cast as Sayid Jarrah, a role that netted the actor Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy nominations.
The Dropout Is Based On The 2019 Podcast Detailing The Rise And Fall Of Elizabeth Holmes
Those familiar with the Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos story will find the name of the Hulu limited series, The Dropout, familiar, as it was the title of the popular 2019 ABC News podcast that chronicled the inventor and company from the beginning of their respective stories all the way up to their shared downfall. Hosted by ABC News correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, the six-part investigative podcast followed Holmes’ story from her days as a Stanford University dropout (hence the name) and carried on with the founding of Theranos, the company that claimed it had developed the technology to complete a myriad of tests with only a single drop of blood.
As was shown in the podcast and 20/20 news special that followed, the blood test simply didn’t work and instead of accepting defeat and backing down, Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos doubled-down, resulting in nearly a dozen indictments.
New Girl Creator Elizabeth Meriwether Is Serving As The Dropout’s Showrunner
Leading the charge making The Dropout on Hulu is television writer and producer Elizabeth Meriwether. According to a Deadline report announcing the casting of Amanda Seyfried in March 2021, it was revealed that Meriwether, who created the successful New Girl, Single Parents, and Bless This Mess would serve as the series’ showrunner. The article also noted that Meriwether had been the driving force behind the development the past few years.
Deadline previously reported that Elizabeth Meriwether signed a lucrative, multi-year deal with what was formerly 20th Century Fox TV in April 2019, which is producing The Dropout through its Searchlight Television division.
Michael Showalter Will Direct Multiple Episodes Of The Dropout
Michael Showalter, the actor/writer/director/producer who helped create Wet Hot American Summer, is not only joining The Dropout as an executive producer with his Semi-Formal Productions company, he is also sitting in the director’s chair for multiple episodes. As first reported by Deadline in late March 2021, Showalter will join his producing partner Jordana Mollick, Elizabeth Meriwether, Liz Heldens, Katherine Pope, Rebecca Jarvis, Victoria Thompson, and Taylor Dunn to tell the story of Elizabeth Holmes, a person once compared to Steve Jobs before her fall from grace.
Michael Showalter, who got his start on You Wrote It, You Watch It in 1992, is currently directing the Apple TV+ miniseries The Shrink Next Door that will see a reunion for Anchorman costars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, who will be joined by Kathryn Hahn and Casey Wilson.
The Dropout Was Given A Straight-To-Series Order In 2019
In April 2019, just when the Elizabeth Holmes story was at its zenith with the hit podcast, the release of ABC News special, and HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley still fresh in everyone’s memory, Variety reported that Hulu had given the team behind The Dropout a straight-to-series order. At the time of the announcement, Kate McKinnon was revealed to be taking on the role of the disgraced Holmes (two years before dropping out).
The Dropout Will Consist Of Six To Ten Episodes
When The Dropout was first announced in 2019, Deadline revealed the limited series could be anywhere from six to ten episodes in length, which makes sense considering the podcast on which it is based had six entries upon its release, especially if the show keeps a similar structure as its source material.
When those episodes will become available, however, is a little unclear at the time. The Dropout could premiere at some point in late 2021 or early 2022 we go off of what Disney mentioned about the series in information released for its 2020 Investor Day event, where in addition to announcing a slew of new movies and shows, it was alluded to that the Hulu limited series could premiere at some point in late 2021.
Those are a few quick things we know about The Dropout on Hulu, but there is still a lot about the upcoming Theranos TV show that has yet to be revealed. When that news does come out, you’ll find it here on CinemaBlend, but in the meantime check out our 2021 TV schedule.