Downton Abbey vet Dan Stevens is plugging a big hole in Gaslit, signing on to replace embattled actor Armie Hammer in Starz’ forthcoming Julia Roberts-Sean Penn drama series.
Gaslit, which hails from Mr. Robot and Homecoming auteur Sam Esmail, is based on Slate‘s Watergate-themed podcast Slow Burn. It’s described as “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.”
Stevens takes over the Hammer-vacated role of John Dean, the young White House Counsel torn between his ambition and his struggle with whether he can lie to protect the President. It marks Stevens’ most significant live-action TV gig since FX’s Legion ended in 2019.
Hammer, whose career has been upended in recent months by a string of sexual misconduct and assault allegations, left the project in January due to a then-scheduling conflict.
Roberts is set to play Martha Mitchell, “a big personality with an even bigger mouth,” who is “a celebrity Arkansan socialite and wife to Nixon’s loyal Attorney General, John Mitchell. 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 will portray the A.G., who is “temperamental, foulmouthed and ruthless, yet hopelessly in love with his famously outspoken wife,” and is “forced to choose between Martha and the President.”