maniac teaser

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill play two strangers who find a world-traversing connection in Cary Fukunaga‘s mind-bending Netflix series, Maniac. But how do they come to meet at the mysterious pharmaceutical trial that throws them into a surreal journey through alternate universes?

A new Maniac teaser suggests that this infomercial for the depression treatment facility, Neberdine Pharmaceutical Biotech, is what attracted all these volunteers. But with Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rome Kanda‘s doctors delivering a stilted promise to cure people of all their mental ailments in the informercial, it’s a miracle that this facility with a mouthful of a name got any volunteers at all.

Maniac Teaser

“The human brain. As vast as the cosmos. And equally unexplored,” reads the eerie introduction to the teaser. “We here at Neberdine Pharmaceutical Biotech are pioneering a revolutionary procedure, one that will unlock the secret miseries of the mind…”

In a piece of viral marketing for Maniac, Theroux’s character, Dr. James K. Mantleray, along with Dr. Robert Muramoto (Kanda) and Dr. Fujita (Mizuno), enthusiastically promise to cure all manner of mental illnesses in a zany informercial that takes more than a few cues from LOST‘s iconic Dharma Initiative orientation videos. That’s a good comparison for Maniac to draw — the psychological drama has received some mixed early reviews from critics, but could benefit from LOST parallels. It feels fitting that a surreal, confounding miniseries like Maniac would follow in the line of the seminal sci-fi series.

Maniac was created by Patrick Somerville, with all 10 episodes directed by Cary Fukunaga. The series also features Sally Field, Julia Garner and Billy Magnussen, with an appearance by Gabriel Byrne.

Here’s the official synopsis for Maniac:

Set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time, Maniac tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons.  Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Neither of their lives have turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment—a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak—draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently. Things do not go as planned.

Maniac will hit Netflix on September 21, 2018.

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