Julia Roberts Is Back on TV With Gaslit, a Watergate Podcast Adaptation

Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Armie Hammer and Joel Edgerton are set to star in the new series about the end of Nixon's presidency.

By Chris Harnick Feb 21, 2020 5:48 PMTags
Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Sean Penn, Joel EdgertonGetty Images

Julia Roberts got a taste for TV series with Homecoming and she's coming back for more. Roberts is attached to star in Gaslit, a new series based on Slate's acclaimed podcast Slow Burn.

Roberts is slated to star alongside Sean Penn, Armie Hammer and Joel Edgerton in Gaslit, which is described as a "modern take on Watergate that Focuses on the untold stories and forgotten character 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 show hails from UCP and has Mr. Robot's Robbie Pickering as showrunner and executive producer alongside Sam Esmail and Chad Hamilton. Roberts will also executive produce under her banner Red Om Films along with co-executive producers Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill

Julia Roberts' Best Looks

Anonymous Content and Slate's Gabriel Roth and Josh Levin are also on board to executive produce. Podcast creator Leon Nayfakh will consult on the project. Joel Edgerton and brother Nash Edgerton will direct and also serve as executive producers.

"We are so excited to announce our next collaboration with Sam as we prepare to bring Gaslit to market," Dawn Olmstead, president of UCP, said in a statement. "Sam and Esmail Corp have introduced the world to some of the most talented creatives in front of and behind the camera, and this project with Robbie at the helm is the next in the lineage of outstanding series from this team. We are also thrilled to be partnering with Julia once again and welcome Sean, Armie, Joel and Nash to UCP."

Roberts will play Martha Mitchell, described as "a big personality with an even bigger mouth," Martha is a socialite and wife to Nixon's loyal attorney general, John Mitchell. In a release, UCP said, "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." Penn is playing her husband, John Mitchell.

Hammer will play John Dean, a "hotshot upstart," he's the White House counsel "torn between his ambition and his struggle with whether he can lie to protect the president." Meanwhile, Edgerton is set to play G. Gordon Libby, a Korean War veteran and former FBI agent tasked with plugging the leaks in the wake of the Pentagon Papers.

Watch: Julia Roberts Jokes "E! Exclusive: I'm Done With Film!"

This is a re-teaming between Roberts and Esmail. The two worked on the Amazon Prime Video series Homecoming, which is also a UCP production, together.

"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."

Gaslit will be shopped to premium and streaming platforms.

(E! and UCP are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)