Friday, Deadline reported that Showtime is developing an hourlong drama about athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs and a South Florida doctor who provides them. The site also reported that New Times managing editor Tim Elfrink will consult on the series, along with former New Times reporter Gus Garcia-Roberts, who now writes for Newsday in New York.
Last year, New Times published Elfrink's report, which presented evidence indicating athletes like Alex Rodriguez and others had received banned substances from Miami clinic Biogenesis. As a result, over a dozen MLB players were banned for 50 games or more, including Rodriguez, who was hit with a 211-game suspension. Elfrink's reporting has earned him a shelf full of awards.
Dope, according to Deadline, "is timely in light of the Alex Rodriguez scandal, but it is fictional and not based on recent events." But Elfrink and Garcia-Roberts, as consultants on the project, would provide plenty of real-world context. In addition to their extensive reporting on the Biogenesis scandal, they also have a book on the subject due out this July: Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era.
If it goes into production, Dope won't be the first Hollywood project with a connection to New Times. Last year's Pain & Gain, Michael Bay's film starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, was an adaptation of a New Times story about a botched murder by a gang of bodybuilders.
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Dope will be written by David Hollander of Ray Donovan; he'll co-produce with Michael Costigan, Deadline reports. Few other details about the project have been announced.
Negotiations between Elfrink and the network are still ongoing.