The upcoming Hulu series The Dropout promises to make the Theranos scandal a juicy prestige drama.
Amanda Seyfried is Elizabeth Holmes, voice-drop and all. A newly released trailer for the upcoming Hulu show, The Dropout, gives us our first glimpse of Seyfried as Holmes, the disgraced entrepreneur whose startup venture became one of the business world’s biggest scandals in recent memory.
The show, coming from New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether and adapted from a podcast of the same name, tracks the rise and fall of Holmes as she goes from a Stanford University dropout to a celebrated CEO whose start-up company, Theranos, promised a revolutionary new technology, only to eventually be exposed for having nothing to back up the idea. Holmes became a media darling as a self-made billionaire (and was known for her black turtlenecks and unique voice, which the trailer shows Seyfried developing as a deliberate affectation) whose rise was touted for helping push boundaries for women in the world of STEM and entrepreneurship.
Yet, the new miniseries comes on the heels of Holmes’s real-life trial, in which she was found guilty of four counts of defrauding investors (she is currently awaiting sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison). For years, Theranos claimed that it had changed blood testing in a way that required an extremely small amount of blood and that could be performed rapidly through their devices. The idea garnered big-name investors and pushed the company’s valuation to some $10 billion — until a report in 2015 by The Wall Street Journal exposed the fact that the technology did not actually exist.
The Dropout is just one facet of Hollywood’s quick seizure of the scandal for its narrative potential: HBO released a documentary about Theranos in 2019, and an Adam McKay-directed film with Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes is currently in the works at Apple TV. This Seyfried-centered one comes to Hulu March 3.