Matt Charman and George Clooney team up for Netflix Watergate series
James R | On 16, Dec 2017
George Clooney and Matt Charman are teaming up for a new Netflix series about Watergate.
The very name conjures up spectres of US politics past, from the shocking details of the 70s scandal to their various incarnations on the big and small screen, including All the Presidents Men. In 2017, though, Watergate seems more prescient and topical than ever. And so it is perhaps no surprise that Clooney, who brought us Syriana, Three Kings, Good Night and Good Luck and The Ides of March, should turn his hand to a limited series tackling the events.
And who better to write such an exploration of the scandal than Matt Charman? Charman has established himself as a dab hand at period drama and complex politics, bagging an Oscar nomination for his script for Bridge of Spies. Since then, he has reunited for Spielberg for a film about newsreader Walter Cronkite and the Vietnam War, and is also adapting Henry Hemming’s upcoming non-fiction book, M: Maxwell Knight, for the screen. The book charts the life of M15’s legendary spymaster, who was one of the real life inspirations for M in Ian Fleming’s 007 novels.
Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, including his partner Grant Heslov, will produce the show along with Sonar Entertainment (Taboo), which inked a first-look deal with Smokehouse last year.
Deadline reports that the project has sparked competitive bidding, before ultimately landing at Netflix. The site adds that each of the eight episodes will focus, Rashomon-like, on individual perspectives and stories surrounding the central scandal, from that of former Attorney General John Mitchell to Richard Nixon counsel John Ehrlichman.
It is the second limited series in the pipeline at Smokehouse, with the company also working on an adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, to be written and directed by Clooney for Paramount Television and Anonymous Content.