Homecoming‘s Sam Esmail is bringing another podcast to television.
He’ll executive produce Gaslit, a drama that focuses on the “untold stories and forgotten characters” of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. The series is based on the popular podcast Slow Burn, which debuted in 2017, and the TV adaptation has lined up an impressive cast: Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Armie Hammer, and Joel Edgerton are all set to star.
Deadline brings word about the adaptation, which will have Robbie Pickering Mr. Robot, Search Party on board as the showrunner. Joel Edgerton and his brother, Nash Edgerton, who have been a part of a filmmaking collective for years and have directed four features, 17 episodes of television, and a handful of shorts between them, will direct and executive produce this show.
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.
Penn plays John Mitchell, the ruthless, temperamental, loudmouthed Attorney General, trusted advisor, and best friend of President Richard Nixon. Roberts is playing his wife Martha, who ends up being “the first person to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, causing both the Presidency and her personal life to unravel.” Her decision puts her husband in a bind: does he choose his wife, or his President?
Hammer is portraying John Dean, the White House lawyer “torn between his ambition and his struggle with whether he can lie to protect the President.” Edgerton is set to play G. Gordon Liddy, the former FBI agent who finds himself as the primary operative of Nixon’s “Plumbers” unit, who is “tasked with plugging embarrassing leaks in the wake of the Pentagon Papers.”
As you can tell, there’s absolutely no relevance whatsoever to anything happening in today’s American political landscape. None.
“Now more than ever, truth is absolutely stranger than fiction,” Esmail said in a statement. “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. To help realize this important chapter in our country’s history, my first call was to the brilliant Julia Roberts. After her captivating performance in Homecoming, I knew Julia was the only person who could tackle the complex role of Martha Mitchell and lead our stellar cast in adapting this bizarre and controversial narrative.”
There’s no word yet about where this series might land; production company UCP is currently courting premium and streaming platforms, and with this group of talent already assembled, it shouldn’t be long before it finds a home.
Other high-profile films set to play the New York festival include the New York premiere of Judd Apatow's Pete Davidson starrer 'The King of Staten Island,' the US premiere of HBO's Hugh Jackman starrer 'Bad Education' and a screening of Josephine Decker's 'Shirley,' starring Elisabeth Moss.
World premieres of the Sean Penn doc Citizen Penn, about the actor's relief work in Haiti, and the Drew Barrymore starrer The Stand-In as well as a sneak peek at Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run are among the highlights of the feature film lineup for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.
Other high-profile films set to play the New York festival include HBO's Hugh Jackman starrer Bad Education, making its U.S. premiere; Judd Apatow's Pete Davidson starrer The King of Staten Island, Ron Howard's California wildfire doc Rebuilding Paradise, and Josephine Decker's Shirley Jackson film, Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss as the 'Lottery' author, each making their New York premieres.
Stars with narrative features at Tribeca include David Arquette 12 Hour Shift; Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell and Ann Dowd Cowboys; Mary J. Blige The Violent Heart; Adrien Brody Clean; Jack Black and Joel McHale Happily; Cybill Shepherd, Rita Wilson and Rosanna Arquette Love is Love is Love; Julie Delpy, Daniel Bruhl, Gemma Arterton and Richard Armitage My Zoe; Jason Clarke, Alexandra Shipp and Paul Walter Hauser Silk Road; Jena Malone and Marc Maron David Bowie film Stardust; Kevin James Becky; Brian Tyree Henry and Asia Kate Dillon The Outside Story; Carrie Brownstein and St. Vincent The Nowhere Inn; and Steve Coogan The Trip to Greece.
George Clooney, Awkwafina, Laverne Cox, Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady, Woody Harrelson, Paris Hilton, Pharrell Williams, DMX, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen and Malcolm Gladwell are among the stars involved with Tribeca's documentary features.
In addition, the festival will screen documentaries about Hurricane Maria, gay conversion programs, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing's search for his birth mother, Helmut Newton, Williams' Something in the Water Virginia Beach music festival, Stanley Kubrick, Larry Flynt's presidential bid, Ronnie Wood, and Harry Belafonte guest-hosting The Tonight Show in 1968.
Tribeca will also present a 20th anniversary screening of American Psycho, followed by a conversation with director Mary Harron.
This year's feature film program, curated from 3,385 submissions, includes 115 films from 124 filmmakers across 33 countries, including 95 world premieres, nine New York premieres, four North American premieres, four U.S. premieres and two international premieres. Forty four of this year's feature films have one or more women directors.
“First comes the story, then empathy, then comes change. When you change the narrator, you empower different voices to show audiences new worlds through their eyes,” Tribeca...