Gaslit Trailer: Julia Roberts And Sean Penn Are Gonna Set It Straight, This Watergate

The latest limited series from Starz is "Gaslit," an alleged new take on the Watergate scandal, a story that has been serialized, adapted, podcasted about, and parodied since before I was alive. Showrunner Robbie Pickering claims the series is "the Watergate story you've never heard before," a bold claim to make, but one that will surely impress if pulled off. 

Rather than focus on Richard Nixon and why he did what he did (dude was abusing power, simple), "Gaslit" focuses on Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts). She was the unlikely whistleblower who was the first person to bring the scandal to light, and the woman who became an immediate target by a White House smear campaign, encouraged by her own husband, Attorney General John Mitchell (Sean Penn). "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," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Gaslit" will attempt to tell the untold stories and frequently overlooked characters of the Watergate scandal, like the foolish and opportunistic lackeys, the corrupt jerks desperately trying to keep Nixon in position and not lose their own proximity to power, and the whistleblowers who were painted as villains for doing the right thing by speaking up. "I don't think it's a mistake the women who played such an instrumental role in this scandal were ignored and silenced," said executive producer Sam Esmail during a press tour panel. "I think it's by design, that's the perspective shift this story takes on." 

Okay, "Gaslit," you have my attention.

The Gaslit Trailer

Martha Mitchell's public accusation of Richard Nixon put her husband's career on the line and was met with accusations of her own for being nothing more than a "woman of a certain age." She was dragged through the mud, discounted at every turn, and yes, she was gaslit. "It's not a girlboss overcorrection history rewrite," added Betty Gilpin during the press tour. "I don't like it when all of a sudden there's an overcorrect to just give women all the answers, they're still women in 1972 struggling with the obstacles that women of the time dealt with." Gilpin is playing Mo Dean, the wife of Dan Stevens' attorney John W. Dean III.

"Gaslit" is inspired by the first season of the popular "Slow Burn" podcast from Robbie Pickering, with Matt Ross directing and executive producing. Esmail and Chad Hamilton also served as executive producers along with Roberts, Lisa Gillan, Marisa Yeres Gill, Gabriel Roth, and Josh Levin.