Amanda Seyfried to Play Elizabeth Holmes in 'The Dropout,' Replacing Kate McKinnon
Last month, Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon lived up to the titular role of Hulu’s upcoming limited series The Dropout by dropping out of the lead role of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the deceptive biotech start-up company Theranos. However, Hulu has landed Amanda Seyfried, fresh off her Oscar nomination for Mank, to star in the series instead.
Kate McKinnon first became attached to The Dropout when the project was announced back in the spring of 2019, but she dropped out over a month ago. Now The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Amanda Seyfried is taking the role of the woman who became a media darling, raised hundreds of millions to fund a biotech start-up, and turned out to be a total fraud. Joining her will be Lost co-star Naveen Andrews as Holmes business partner and secret boyfriend, Sunny Balwani.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Elizabeth Holmes, her story was chronicled on an ABC News podcast also titled The Dropout. When Holmes was just 19 years old, she dropped out of college, founded a biotech company called Theranos, raised $700 million from venture capitalists and private investors, and suddenly found herself managing a business valued at $10 billion. At the time, she was said to be the Steve Jobs of medical technology, touting a a device that she claimed could run a large variety of tests from a single drop of blood. But the machine didn’t exist, or at least it didn’t do what Holmes claimed, and she ended up being indicted by a federal jury in 2018 on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
The Dropout had the potential to be a major breakthrough performance for Kate McKinnon, so I’m wondering why she dropped out. She’s likely pretty busy trying to fit in projects in between seasons of SNL, so maybe the schedule just didn’t work out. Though it would have been interesting to see her tackle a dramatic performance like this, Seyfried coming off an Oscar nomination for Mank will only help boost the profile of the limited series for Hulu. Plus, we’ll still get to see McKinnon broaden her horizons a bit since she’s slated to star in a series based on The Tiger King documentary series.
The Dropout is still letting another comedy voice make a change, with New Girl executive producer Elizabeth Meriwether working as showrunner and executive producer. The series also counts Liz Hannah, Katherine Pope, Victoria Thompson, Taylor Dunn and ABC News reporter and podcast host Rebecca Jarvis as executive producers.
Hulu hasn’t set a release date for The Dropout yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
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