Monday, February 22, 2021

Starz Gives Series Order to Limited Series 'Gaslit' Starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn

Starz has today given a series order to the original limited series Gaslit starring Academy Award winners Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, Homecoming) and Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk). The series will be based on the first season of the podcast Slow Burn. Production will begin this spring.

The series is a modern take on Watergate that focuses on the untold stories and forgotten characters of the scandal - from Nixon's bumbling, 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.

The story will center on Martha Mitchell (Roberts), a big personality with an even bigger mouth. She is a celebrity Arkansan socialite and wife to Nixon's loyal Attorney General, John Mitchell (Penn). 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. As Attorney General, Mitchell is Nixon's most trusted advisor and best friend. Temperamental, foulmouthed and ruthless - yet hopelessly in love with his famously outspoken wife - he'll be forced to choose between Martha and the President.

Robbie Pickering will serve as showrunner, with Matt Ross set to direct. They will executive produce with Roberts, Penn, Sam Esmail, Chad Hamilton, Gabriel Roth and Josh Levin. Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill will co-executive producer, while podcast creator Leon Nayfakh will consult. Universal Content Productions, Anonymous Content, Esmail Corp and Red Om Films will produce.

"I'm so happy to have the opportunity to share the heartbreaking, fascinating story of Martha Mitchell with the world," said Pickering. "Martha was the first and loudest voice to speak out against the bumbling criminality of a crooked Presidential administration and she was one of the most complicated public martyrs of the era. To find anyone willing to tell her story is a dream. To be making it with Sam, Julia, Sean, Matt, UCP and Starz seems impossible. I'm over the moon."

"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, Starz. "We could not be more excited to bring this story to the global Starz audience and continue the network's commitment to spotlighting premium stories that appeal to women while super serving our core audience."