(Deadline) “John Swab’s forthcoming crime thriller Body Brokers has set an impressive roster for its cast including Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter, The Big Short), Emmy nominated actor Michael K. Williams (When They See Us, The Wire), Frank Grillo (The Purge, Captain America: Winter Soldier) Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures, Them That Follow) and Jack Kilmer (The Nice Guys, The Stanford Prison Experiment).
Written and directed by Swab, Body Brokers is the true and untold story of the multibillion-dollar drug and alcohol treatment scheme where former drug addicts and dealers become millionaires as fly-by-night “body brokers”, recruiting other addicts to seek treatment and selling these patients off to facilities paying the highest price. Utah (Kilmer) and his girlfriend Opal (Englert) are drug addicts living on the streets in rural Ohio. After getting recruited by a body broker, Wood (Williams), and offered treatment in Los Angeles, Wood takes Utah under his wing and introduces him to treatment center mogul Vin (Grillo). Wood and Vin bring Utah in on their lucrative and illegal dealings, where saving lives comes second to the bottom line. Leo plays the treatment center’s resident shrink, Dr. White”
This topic is one I’ve heard a lot about from people in the treatment center/rehab industry, but not seen a lot of mainstream coverage on. Basically, a bunch of dickheads decided to treat addicts like cash-cows, buying and selling them between each other based off the amount of money they can potentially wring out of them and their insurers. From my understanding, there is a lot of laws now that monitor and penalize this practice, but similar schemes still happen in the community. Obviously it’s a super fucked up story, so I’m glad to see it get some exposure. This cast is a great start, especially the big three of Williams, Leo, and Grillo. I’ve had the most exposure to Williams, who I find to be a phenomenal actor in shady roles. Grillo also excelled in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, and I don’t even need to sell you on Leo. She won best supporting actress for ‘The Fighter’, the movie most of you will recognize her from. I don’t know much about direct John Swab, but he is writing and producing this as well. That usually implies a pretty heavy level investment in a project (not that it will make the movie better).