McKinnon had been attached to the project from the start. Hulu have The Dropout a series a straight-to-series order almost two years ago, in April 2019, with the Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live veteran as a star and executive producer.
The Dropout is going forward without McKinnon, sources said. Search is underway for a new actress to play disgraced wunderkind entrepreneur Holmes, with production targeting a summer start.
Meanwhile, McKinnon remains committed to playing another notorious ripped-from-the-headlines character in a limited series based on a podcast; she is set to star as Carole Baskin in Joe Exotic, which will air on NBCUniversal’s NBC, USA and Peacock.
Produced by Disney’s Searchlight Television, The Dropout is executive produced by the podcast’s host/creator Rebecca Jarvis and producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson.
The Dropout launched as a podcast in late January 2019 and was turned into a two-hour documentary that aired on ABC News’ 20/20 in March the same year.
Holmes, a chemical engineering prodigy, dropped out of Stanford to launch a healthcare technology company promising to revolutionize blood testing, which became Theranos. The high-flying tech startup was eventually exposed as “massive fraud,” and in 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and former Theranos chief operating officer on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for distributing blood tests with falsified results to consumers.
McKinnon is one of the most popular cast members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live where she has been since 2012. She has earned seven acting Emmy nominations for her work on the sketch comedy program, winning in 2016 and 2017.