'The Dropout': release date, cast interviews, trailer, plot, and all about the drama on real-life fraudster Elizabeth Holmes

'The Dropout' on Hulu and Disney+ sees Amanda Seyfried playing convicted American fraudster Elizabeth Holmes.
'The Dropout' on Hulu and Disney+ sees Amanda Seyfried playing convicted American fraudster Elizabeth Holmes. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

The Dropout tells a shocking story of mega-scamming and sees Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried play Elizabeth Holmes, the world’s youngest self-made billionaire who was recently convicted of criminal fraud. 

This eight-part drama follows the meteoric rise and dramatic fall of her blood test company Theranos while Stephen Fry, Naveen Andrews, William H. Macy, and Alan Ruck also star. The drama is created by the team behind the recent hit factual drama Dopesick.

With shows about real-life scammers such as The Tinder Swindler and Inventing Anna becoming huge hits on Netflix, The Dropout is now eagerly awaited. So here's all you need to know about The Dropout coming to Disney Plus and Hulu in March 2022...

'The Dropout' release date

The Dropout is released on Hulu in the US and Disney Plus in the UK on Thursday, March 3 2022, when the first three episodes will launch, followed by a weekly release of the final five episodes. In the UK The Dropout will be part of the Star platform on Disney+.

Is there a trailer for 'The Dropout'?

Yes a trailer for The Dropout has arrived from Hulu, so take a look below at Amanda Seyfried playing Elizabeth Holmes. 'The world works in certain ways, and then a new great idea comes along and changes everything!' says Amanda Seyfried portraying an Elizabeth Holmes intent on making millions, if not billions. Take a look below...

'The Dropout' poster.

'The Dropout' poster revealing its March 3 launch. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

'The Dropout' plot

The Dropout shows how Elizabeth dropped out of college and set up Theranos, a company that claimed to revolutionise healthcare by providing a way to carry out blood testing on tiny amounts of blood. It tells how Theranos’ value soared to $9 billion before scientists proved Elizabeth’s claims to be fraudulent. Behind the scenes, the product was in trouble as scientists struggled to make the tech live up to Holmes’ grandiose claims. In 2015, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal published a damning article that exposed the company’s lies – and by 2018 Theranos had collapsed, leaving Elizabeth Holmes facing criminal charges of fraud.

'The Dropout' cast — Amanda Seyfried on playing Elizabeth Holmes

The Dropout cast is led by Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, the brilliant but decidedly dodgy medical entrepreneur who is eventually imprisoned for fraud.

Amanda Seyfried told us: "Holmes was so convincing and able to lure investors in because she believed it herself. From a psychological point of view, if you want to believe something badly enough, then you can."

"Elizabeth is still such a mystery, but I think this is the only project that actually gives insight. It's a lot of guesswork — but guesswork based on a lot of facts. The whole point of making this is that you were letting us into a world that we weren't privy to before and people want to know why she did these things. People want to know motives."

Amanda of course is most famous for playing Sophie Sheridan, aka Meryl Streep's screen daughter, in the hit musical movie Mamma Mia! and it's sequel Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! She also sang and starred as Cosette in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables.

She'd started her career as a model then in the US soap As The World Turns at 15 before taking roles in Veronica Mars and Big Love. Her other movies have included Solstice, Dear John, Gone, and Red Riding Hood.

Amanda Seyfried as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.

Amanda Seyfried as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. (Image credit: DIsney Plus)

'The Dropout' cast — Naveen Andrews on playing Sunny Balwani

Lost and The Buddha of Suburbia star Naveen Andrews is playing Elizabeth Homes' former business partner and boyfriend Sunny Balwani. Sunny was the president and chief operating officer of Theranos.

On playing someone complicit in the fraud behind the story, Naveen says: "I feel that it's imperative not to make any judgments about who you're going to play. Hopefully, your own private feelings or the judgments you might make have nothing to do with what you're trying to create. For me, I tried to go for what motivated him emotionally as opposed to anything exterior, which is the fact that I feel he was besotted with Elizabeth. He was desperately in love with her, so how far would he go for love? It’s almost romantic in a way. It’s really interesting. I learned a lot from the footage I saw and from what I read about him. I can look at his Twitter feed and make my own assumptions, but you can't really make judgments about a human being if you're going to play them."

Naveen Andrews as Sunny Balwani, former president and chief operating officer of Theranos

Naveen Andrews as Sunny Balwani, former president and chief operating officer of Theranos, with his then girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried). (Image credit: Disney Plus)

In The Dropout also look out for Stephen Fry of It's a Sin fame, who plays Theranos’ chief scientist Ian Gibbons, who eventually took his own life after being demoted by Holmes for raising concerns about the company.

William H Macy is inventor Richard Fuisz, and Succession star Alan Ruck is Jay Rosen, part of the team at pharmacy giant Walgreens which invested heavily in Theranos. Fatal Attraction star Anne Archer plays Charlotte Schultz and Grace and Frankie star Sam Waterson is George Schultz.

Utkarsh Ambudkar, Kate Burton, Michel Gill, LisaGay Hamilton, Elizabeth Marvel, Laurie Metcalf, Dylan Minnette, Alan Ruck, Michaela Watkins are also among the cast.

Stephen Fry and Omari Douglas in 'It's A Sin'.

Stephen Fry and Omari Douglas in 'It's A Sin'. (Image credit: Channel 4)

The real story of Elizabeth Holmes played out in 'The Dropout'

The Dropout tells the true story of Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos. She claimed to have developed a new type of blood test that could provide rapid results for a wide variety of health conditions. It was a brave new world of healthcare technology that would revolutionize healthcare. It involved a machine called Edison, which it was said acted as a mini lab in which to run tests.

Many wealthy investors bought into the idea which led to Theranos being valued at $10 billion. Holmes was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people and Glamour's Woman of the Year, among other honors. Shockingly, however, the technology behind it didn't exist.

Everything began to go wrong for Holmes when an article was published by the Wall Street Journal a decade later told how the company had struggled to turn its groundbreaking concept into reality. A chain of events was set off which ended with Theranos being dissolved in 2018 and Holmes' net worth evaporating from an estimated $4.5 billion to zero.

A fraud case ended in January 2022 when Holmes was convicted of defrauding investors, and not guilty of defrauding patients. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison, plus potentially millions in restitution and fines; sentencing is scheduled for September 2022.

'The Dropout' — what else we know

The Dropout is executive produced by showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether, Liz Heldens, Liz Hannah, Katherine Pope, Rebecca Jarvis, Victoria Thompson, and Taylor Dunn. Michael Showalter directs multiple episodes and serves as an executive producer along with his Semi-Formal Productions producing partner Jordana Mollick.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.