In 'Crisis,' characters turn to The Detroit News for help

Our newspaper plays a small role in new opioid thriller, in theaters Friday

The Detroit News

It's not every day that Academy Award-winner Gary Oldman is tossed a copy of The Detroit News with his face on the cover. 

But there he is, front and center on 1A of The News in "Crisis," a Detroit-set crime thriller about America's opioid epidemic. 

A copy of The Detroit News is seen in the film "Crisis."

In one of the film's several storylines, Oldman plays Dr. Tyrone Brower, a college professor who is leading a study on a new painkiller heading to market. (It's not Oldman's first time playing a Detroit character; he memorably played Drexl Spivey, a violent pimp, in 1993's "True Romance.")  

Review: 'Crisis' takes a muddled look at opioid addiction

When Dr. Brower (warning: spoiler alert) finds out the drug is even more addictive than oxycodone, he acts as a whistleblower, and winds up sharing his story with The Detroit News.

That's what's shown on screen, but Greg Kinnear's character in the film puts it a bit differently. "It's the Detroit Evening News," he says, handing Oldman's character a copy of the paper (which doesn't say "Evening" anywhere on it). "You gave them the whole story, huh?" 

The paper — a mock-up of The News — is dated April 20, 2020, and a column by our own Bob Wojnowski is teased in the upper left hand corner.

Director Nicholas Jarecki set the film in Detroit partially as a nod to his mother, Marjorie Heidsieck, who grew up in the city. Jarecki (2012's "Arbitrage") visited Detroit while researching the script, and while it was mostly filmed in Canada, there are some exterior shots of Detroit in the film. 

"Detroit really inspired me," Jarecki says by email. He says when he was in town he hit Eight Mile, dropped by the Detroit Police Department 9th Precinct on Gratiot to talk with police captains and visited methadone clinics and burned out houses in the city, all before grabbing a coney dog downtown. 

"Detroit is such a wonderful, cosmopolitan city and I thought it was a good model also for the devastation that opioids have wrought on America — a town of great struggle and also great love," he says. 

As for including The Detroit News in the film, it "felt so fitting to imagine (The News) would help Dr. Brower get the word out," he says. 

We're happy to help. "Crisis" is in theaters Friday and available digitally and On Demand March 5.