All-Star Cast To Star In Watergate Drama Series ‘Gaslit’, Based On ‘Slow Burn’ Podcast
“When Robbie first told me about the Slow Burn podcast, I devoured it instantly. The second I finished it, I felt compelled to bring this story to television especially after watching the cowardice on display during the recent impeachment hearings.”
Julia Roberts, Sean Penn and Armie Hammer are set to star in a new series based on Slate’s audio series, “Slow Burn”, which chronicled the Watergate scandal.
The project is being optioned to premium and streaming platforms by a NBCUniversal Content Studios division. Robbie Pickering (“Mr. Robot”, “Search Party”) will serve as showrunner. Brothers Josh and Nash Edgerton will direct.
“Gaslit” promises to be a modern take on Watergate that focuses on the untold stories and forgotten figures of the scandal, from Nixon’s feckless yet opportunistic subordinates, to the deranged zealots aiding and abetting their crimes, to the tragic whistleblowers who eventually upended the entire scandal.
Roberts will play Martha Mitchell, a larger-than-life Arkansan socialite and wife to Nixon’s loyal Attorney General, John Mitchell. Despite her party affiliation, she’s the first person to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, causing both the Presidency and her personal life to unravel. Penn will play her husband, the temperamental, foul-mouthed and ruthless John Mitchell – whose loyalties are torn between being Nixon’s most trusted advisor and best friend, and being loyal to his famously outspoken wife, whom he loves dearly.
Hammer will play John Dean, the young White House Counsel torn between his ambition and whether he should lie to protect the President. Additionally, Joel Edgerton will play G. Gordon Liddy, a Korean War veteran, former FBI agent and chief operative of Nixon’s “Plumbers” unit, tasked with plugging embarrassing leaks in the wake of the Pentagon Papers.
Executive Producer Sam Esmail stressed the importance of remembering the scandal and how it parallels today’s politics.
“When Robbie first told me about the Slow Burn podcast, I devoured it instantly. The second I finished it, I felt compelled to bring this story to television especially after watching the cowardice on display during the recent impeachment hearings,” he said.
The “Slow Burn” podcast launched in 2017 by a subsidiary of Slate Magazine, and became one of the top shows on Apple Podcasts. The first season focused on Watergate, while the second was about the impeachment of Bill Clinton featuring an interview with Linda Tripp, among others. The third season covered the growing tension between rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. in the 1990s[
The first season was already turned into a six-part docuseries for Epix that premiered this month.
No release date has been announced for the new drama series.