Spiderhead: Release date, cast, synopsis, trailer & more

Spiderhead is a sci-fi thriller drama that follows a prisoner who tests drugs for a pharmaceutical genius in exchange for a shorter sentence. 

Release date

The film is set to release on Netflix on June 17.

Cast and creators

  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Miles Teller
  • Jurnee Smollett
  • Nathan Jones
  • Tess Haubrich
  • Charles Parnell
  • BeBe Bettencourt

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Screenplay by: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick

Short story by: George Sanders


“In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not.”

Other details

Spiderhead is based on ‘Escape from Spiderhead’, a short story by George Saunders, which was first published in The New Yorker in 2010 before becoming a part of Saunders’ Tenth of December collection in 2013. The movie even features one of the characters reading a copy of Tenth of December. 


In the near future, prisoners are offered a chance to reduce their punishment and spend the rest of it at a leisurely facility in exchange for testing drugs that the pharmaceutical, Spiderhead, run by Mr. Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), claims will help save lives and make the world a better place.

During the tests that the prisoners are required to acknowledge volunteering for, they are given drugs through a panel on their back, after which they seem to experience heightened emotions such as rage, melancholy and lust.

One eager prisoner finds himself questioning the ethics of the experiment but is warned that the time to worry about crossing lines has long passed. 

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