Caitlin Gallagher
August 29, 2017 3:29 pm

Dedicated Netflix watchers are used to the streaming network’s mix of true crime documentaries and scripted drama series. But how about all of that rolled into one? The trailer for the Netflix show Wormwood looks like it’s a scripted series starring Peter Sarsgaard. But as The Hollywood Reporter noted, Wormwood is a true crime series about the death of CIA employee Frank Rudolph Olson, complete with documentary-style interviews with Olson’s son. And no matter what category you place this new Netflix series in, one thing’s for sure: Wormwood is going to have you questioning the government, and it’s a conspiracy theory-lover’s dream come true.

The six-part Netflix docuseries is from Errol Morris, who is known for his documentary films The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War (the latter won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2004). In his documentaries, he mixes interviews with incredibly cinematic reenactments, which is why Wormwood doesn’t appear to be a documentary upon first viewing the trailer.

However, Sarsgaard is portraying the very real Olson in reenactments for this true crime series.

Olson worked as a scientist for the CIA and died in 1953, allegedly by suicide. But as The New York Times reported, Olson had been given the drug LSD without his knowledge by the CIA, and his sons, Eric and Nils Olson, claimed that their father had been murdered by the government when he fell out of his New York City hotel window to his death. Eric and Nils filed a lawsuit against the government in 2012.

Netflix

Netflix says that Wormwood is:

As the LSD experiments and death of Olson are all true, you’re going to be entranced by his story — and it will be made all the more affecting thanks to the reenactments from such talented actors as Sarsgaard, Bob Balaban, Molly Parker of House Of Cards, Michael Chernus of Orange Is The New Black, and Jimmi Simpson of Westworld.

You’ll have to wait until December 15th to see Morris’ vision of Olson’s story unfold, but until then, you can spend time reading up on this “untold true story of the CIA” that had a deadly result. You just may never trust the government again.

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