Errol Morris is bringing his award-winning skills as a documentarian to Netflix for the true crime docuseries Wormwood. The six-episode series will examine the CIA’s experiments with mind control in the 1950s, and more specifically the case of Frank Olson, a bioweapons expert who died after falling from his hotel room in 1953 after apparently being slipped LSD. Olson’s two sons, Eric and Nils, filed a lawsuit against the CIA in 2012 accusing the agency of covering up the true circumstances of their father’s death, suggesting that it was murder, rather than a drug-induced suicide.
In addition to interviews with the Olsons, the docuseries will include dramatizations of the events with Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Blake Nelson, Bob Balaban, Jimmi Simpson, and more. Morris, the filmmaker behind The Thin Blue Line and the Oscar-winning The Fog of War, said in a statement that Wormwood shows “a shadowy world of hidden and imagined intentions coupled with dark and horrifying revelations. In many ways, a personal family story, but in many other ways, a story of America’s decline in the period following World War II. It asks the question: To what extent can a democracy lie to its citizens and still, in the end, remain a democracy?”
Wormwood arrives on Netflix Dec. 15.