Your imagination hasn’t gotten the best of you. These days, reality is stranger than fiction. Hence why studios have given up on composing original stories; instead looking towards the world of true crime/true crime adjacent to hunt down the next Tiger King-level global obsession. During these coming months, in addition to the deadly feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, audiences will be treated to a dramatised limited series about the high-flying con artist Anna Sorkin, some bloke dubbed the Tinder Swindler, the entire WeWork shitshow, the entire Uber shitshow, and now, the Elizabeth Holmes-Theranos scandal in The Dropout.
Similar to Apple TV+’s WeCrash starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway, The Dropout is based on a podcast of the same name. Replacing Kate McKinnon, Amanda Seyfried takes centre stage as fraudster Elizabeth Holmes in the upcoming series chronicling the Theranos founder & CEO’s meteoric rise and spectacular fall from grace – from those early days of establishing the “revolutionary” startup as a 19-year-old Stanford dropout, the $10 billion company’s eventual collapse, watching her own $4.5 billion net worth dwindle to 0, right through to the prolific court case.
Without giving too much away for the uninitiated, Theranos essentially claimed to develop devices that could perform rapid at-home blood tests with very small amounts of blood. The implication of such a development would’ve “democratised healthcare” among other things, hence why it quickly gained the attention of big-wig investors and the like.
The only problem? The technology wasn’t there. “Factually and scientifically erroneous”, were terms used to describe this so-called innovation. In fact… Theranos’ Edison machines weren’t even close to working. But that didn’t stop an ambitious and borderline sociopathic individual such as Elizabeth Holmes from selling the lie all the way to the bank.
It’s a tale rich with deception, office romance, and puzzling details about human psychology in the face of life-changing gain. Holmes – who was once named the youngest + wealthiest self-made female billionaire by Forbes back in 2015 – believed she was the reincarnation of Steve Jobs, regularly donning black turtlenecks and deepening her voice for theatrics. Feel free to read up on the wild journey that ended in criminal charges beforehand, although going in blind could prove to be a tad more entertaining.
Amanda Seyfried is joined by Naveen Andres as Holmes’ business partner and boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani (the latter is now an ex to the former on both fronts). William H. Macy and Lauri Metcalf portray Dr Richard Fuisz and Phyllis Gardner, respectively, who were instrumental in exposing Theranos. Stephen Fry, on the other hand, takes on the role of Theranos chief scientist Ian Gibbons, while Alan Ruck will appear as Jay Rosan.
You can expect The Dropout to hit Disney+ on March 3rd – check out the trailer above.