Based on the New Yorker article ‘The Family That Built an Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe and ‘Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic’ by Barry Meier, Netflix’s ‘Painkiller’ is a fictionalized telling of actual events created and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Highlighting the opioid crisis in the country, the narrative focuses mainly on Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, as the struggles of the crisis are portrayed through the eyes of perpetrators, victims, and an investigator trying to get to the bottom of the truth.
Featuring compelling onscreen performances from a talented ensemble cast comprising Matthew Broderick, Uzo Aduba, Taylor Kitsch, Dina Shihabi, West Duchovny, John Rothman, and Clark Gregg, the drama show also explores the aftermath of the same crisis. It opens the viewers’ eyes to crime, accountability, and how the systems have repeatedly failed hundreds and thousands of Americans. Since the show unfolds in various locations, including Washington DC and the Purdue headquarters, you will likely have some questions about the filming sites of ‘Painkiller.’ In that case, we are here to fill you in on all the details!
Painkiller Filming Locations
‘Painkiller’ is filmed in Ontario and New York, especially in Toronto, Halton Hills, and New York City. As per reports, principal photography for the inaugural iteration commenced in August 2021 and wrapped up in about three months, in early November of the same year. Interestingly, Taylor Kitsch underwent a physical transformation as he gained a lot of weight for his role — a process he did not enjoy. Even after that, he considered it the most fulfilling job he had ever been a part of. Now, without further ado, let’s traverse all the specific locations that appear in the Netflix series!
Most of ‘Painkiller’ is lensed in and around Toronto, the capital city of Ontario. For instance, the cast and crew members of the limited series were spotted in different streets and neighborhoods across the city, including Jarvis Street, and Sherbourne Street & Carlton Street, in late September 2021. Thus, viewers shall likely spot several local landmarks and buildings in the backdrop of important scenes, such as the Humber Bay Arch Bridge, the Toronto City Hall, the Ontario Legislative Building, and Casa Loma.
Netflix’s Painkiller is filming at Carlton and Sherbourne.
— Toronto Filming (@TOFilming_EM) September 25, 2021
Moreover, it is possible that a few scenes for the show are shot in one of the many film studios located in and around Toronto. Some are Revival Film Studios, Pinewood Toronto Studios, Cinespace Studios, and TriBro Studios. Apart from ‘Painkiller,’ Hollywood North has hosted the production of numerous film and TV projects over the years. A few notable ones include ‘A Good Person,’ ‘Women Talking,’ ‘Molly’s Game,’ ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ ‘Covert Affairs,’ and ‘The West Wing.’
Halton Hills, Ontario
Several pivotal sequences for ‘Painkiller’ are taped in the town of Halton Hills, situated in the northwestern end of the Greater Toronto Area. In particular, the large unincorporated community of Georgetown serves as one of the important filming sites as its locales were utilized to shoot the garage scene in the debut season. The town has several natural features, including the Niagara Escarpment and the Bruce Trail, which you will notice fill up the background in various sequences.
New York City, New York
For shooting purposes, the filming unit of ‘Painkiller’ also travels to New York City. They set up camp in several streets and neighborhoods across different boroughs to record pivotal sequences against suitable backdrops for the drama series. The Big Apple houses some of the most iconic and popular attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Stonewall Inn, and Rockefeller Center, some of which might feature in the series.
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