Starz has officially picked up the new anthology series Gaslit, which is based on Slate‘s award-winning podcast Slow Burn. The first season of Slow Burn turned its focus on the Watergate scandal, and, in turn, this event will serve as the focus of Gaslit. The first season of Gaslit will focus on Martha Mitchell‘s role in uncovering the Watergate scandal. Julia Roberts is set to play Mitchell and Sean Penn will tackle the role of John Mitchell, Mitchell’s husband and the former Attorney General under President Richard Nixon. The new series is overseen by showrunner Robbie Pickering (Mr. Robot, Search Party), who also serves as the executive producer. Additionally, Sam Esmail, via his overall deal with UCP, and Chad Hamilton (Homecoming) serve as executive producers under their production banner Esmail Corp.
In addition to news of the Starz pick-up, it was confirmed that some big casting shake-ups have taken place since the project was first announced back in February 2020 (via Variety). Previously, Armie Hammer and Joel Edgerton were announced as cast members. Edgerton‘s brother, Nash Edgerton, was also announced as the director and an executive producer. Since then, Hammer and the Edgertons have departed the project. These departures took place months ago, per Variety. In the case of Hammer, they don’t appear to be connected to his recent string of project exits. Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic) will step in for Nash Edgerton as director and as an executive producer. There is currently no news regarding the actors who will take over for Hammer and Edgerton.
Pickering offered up a statement on Gaslit‘s forward momentum, sharing in an official press release,
“I’m so happy to have the opportunity to share the heartbreaking, fascinating story of Martha Mitchell with the world. 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.”
For those who are curious, an official synopsis for Gaslit reads:
“‘Gaslit’ 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.”