Where was Painkiller on Netflix filmed? Locations Explained

By Romey Norton
Published: August 14, 2023 (Last updated: March 27, 2024)
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Where was the Netflix series Painkiller filmed – a breakdown of filming locations

Where was Painkiller on Netflix filmed? We discuss the 2023 Netflix series and the filming locations used by the production crew.

Painkiller is a Netflix limited series that is based on the origins of America’s opioid epidemic. Directed by Peter Berg (The Leftovers, Friday Night Lights), starring Matthew Broderick, Uzo Aduba, Taylor Kitsch, Dina Shihabi, and West Duchovny, this drama series has six episodes with a runtime of between forty minutes and one hour. 

The series is based on Barry Meier’s book of the same name and derives its storyline from the New Yorker Magazine article The Family that Built an Empire of Pain written by Patrick Radden Keefe.

The story focuses on Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, in their development and distribution of the drug and eventual downfall, which resulted in billion-dollar lawsuits.

READ: TV Shows like Painkiller

The struggles are portrayed through the eyes of perpetrators, sales reps, victims, and one investigator (Uzo Aduba).

Each episode opens with an emotional statement from someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis in real life. They state that the series is based on real events, but names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.

They then proceed to say how someone they loved has died of being addicted to Oxycontin. This gives the series a serious reality, being based on a real epidemic that caused hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths and is still affecting people today. 

With a powerful storyline and compelling acting, this series has had audiences hooked from the get-go, and what people are most interested in is where this series was filmed.

Where was the Netflix series Painkiller filmed – a breakdown of filming locations

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Most of the filming was shot in the capital city of Ontario. Reports suggest that production for Painkiller began in Toronto in April 2021 and wrapped in November 2021. Toronto is known for its scenery and rich history, and its architecture is similar to other popular cities such as London and New York.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that it’s been the filming choice for numerous projects, including The Queen’s Gambit, The West Wing, A Good Person, and Women Talking. 

There were numerous actors and crew from the show who were sighted around several cities, including Jarvis Street, Sherbourne Street, and Carlton Street. As you watch, you should be able to see well-known structures and landmarks such as Toronto City Hall and the Humber Bay Arch.

Halton Hills, Ontario

Many sequences are taped in Halton Hills, a quaint town situated in the Greater Toronto Area. 

New York City, USA

It’s reported that the film was also partially shot in New York City for some of its key scenes. New York is a prime location for films and television shows as it’s home to many famous landmarks, including The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Centre, the Empire State Building, and much more. 

Washington D.C, USA

Some scenes in the show are shot around the famous White House and Supreme Court — another famous and instantly recognizable location.

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