Watergate Series: Starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn

Starz Picks Up Watergate Series Starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn, Recasts Armie Hammer

Julia Roberts Sean Penn Armie Hammer
AP

Starz is officially picking up “Gaslit,” an anthology series from creator and showrunner Robbie Pickering (“Mr. Robot,” “Search Party”) based on the award-winning Slate podcast “Slow Burn.”

The series focuses on the untold stories and forgotten characters of Watergate, from Nixon’s opportunistic subordinates to the deranged zealots aiding and abetting their crimes to the tragic whistleblowers who would eventually bring the whole rotten enterprise crashing down.

Previously announced talent still attached to the show include Academy Award-winning actors Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”) and Sean Penn (“Milk”).

Armie Hammer will no longer be a part of “Gaslit.”

Matt Ross (“Captain Fantastic,” “28 Hotel Rooms”) has replaced Nash Edgerton as director and executive producer.

Martha Mitchell, the protagonist and the celebrity Arkansan socialite who was one of the first to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in Watergate in spite of her affiliation to the president via her husband, Attorney General John Mitchell, will be played by Roberts. John Mitchell, who was Nixon’s most trusted advisor and best friend at the time, will be played by Penn.

“Gaslit” is set to start production this spring and will be produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, for Starz. Along with Pickering and Ross, “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail, via his overall deal with UCP, and Chad Hamilton (“Mr. Robot,” “Homecoming”) serve as executive producers under their production banner Esmail Corp. Roberts will executive produce under her banner Red Om Films along with co-executive producers Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. “Gaslit” reunites Esmail and Roberts in their second television project together. The first was season one of the Golden Globe-nominated Amazon Prime drama series “Homecoming.”

“In ‘Gaslit,’ we not only have the opportunity to tell an incredible untold story in bringing Martha Mitchell’s historic role in Watergate to the forefront, but we are also incredibly lucky to have a dream cast including Julia and Sean and the best creative team and partners we could have asked for,” said Christina Davis, president of original programming for Starz. Per Davis, the company is excited to continue the network’s comprehensive commitment to spotlighting premium narratives that appeal to women and other underrepresented audiences— a Starz effort known as the #TakeTheLead initiative.