Starz dropped the first teaser for its Sean Penn and Julia Roberts-led Watergate limited series “Gaslit” on Wednesday, revealing the actors’ on-screen transformations into Attorney General John Mitchell, President Richard Nixon’s most trusted advisor and best friend, and his whistleblower wife Martha Mitchell.
Also announced was the show’s premiere date, which Starz has set for Sunday, April 24 at 9 p.m., the pay TV channel said during its Wednesday presentation at the virtual Television Critics Association press tour.
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Executive produced by Sam Esmail, “Gaslit” is a modern take on Watergate that focuses on the untold stories and forgotten characters of the scandal — from Nixon’s bumbling and 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, per Starz.
Along with Penn (who rattled production with his insistence on strict enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandates on set) and Roberts, “Gaslit” also stars Dan Stevens (who replaced Armie Hammer on the series) as John Dean, Betty Gilpin as Mo Dean, Shea Whigham as G. Gordon Liddy and Darby Camp as Marty Mitchell.
The story will center on Roberts’ Martha Mitchell, “a big personality with an even bigger mouth.” Martha 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, John Mitchell is Nixon’s most trusted advisor and best friend. Temperamental, foul-mouthed and ruthless — yet hopelessly in love with his famously outspoken wife – he’ll be forced to choose between Martha and the President.
Based on the first season of the “Slow Burn” podcast,” “Gaslit” is created by Robbie Pickering who executive produces alongside Esmail, Roberts, director Matt Ross, Chad Hamilton, Gabriel Roth and Josh Levin. Co-executive producers include Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. Leon Neyfakh, who created the podcast, consulted on the project.
“Gaslit is the Watergate story you’ve never heard before. At the center of the show is Martha Mitchell, an unlikely whistleblower who is the first person to bust the whole scandal wide open and ultimately becomes the subject of a vicious White House smear campaign enacted in part by her own beloved husband, Attorney General John Mitchell,” Pickering said. “We also feature John Dean, a hotshot administration lawyer dragged into the coverup and thrust into the spotlight with his acerbic, whip-smart wife, Mo. The goal in making this project has always been to bring a real humanity to this subject, which yields a far richer and more relatable story than the standard male-driven political dramas about the period. I can’t wait for viewers to experience the extraordinary performances in this remarkable ensemble, led by Julia Roberts, brought to life in this thrilling, stranger-than-fiction tale of marriage, love, betrayal, and ultimately, hope.”
“Gaslit” is produced for Starz by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, where Esmail has an overall deal.
Watch the “Gaslit” teaser below.
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