The specter of Watergate has loomed large over Washington, D.C. recently — great timing for a television series looking at the scandal. Bridge of Spies writer Matt Charman has partnered with George Clooney and Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov for Watergate, an eight-part limited series. We hear that the project has landed at Netflix for development in a competitive situation.
The potential series will be produced by studio Sonar Entertainment, which last year inked a first-look deal with Smokehouse. We hear that each episode of Watergate would focus on an individual surrounding the 1970s scandal such as former Attorney General John Mitchell and Richard Nixon counsel John Ehrlichman. It is styled after famous Japanese period drama Rashomon.
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Watergate is the latest period project for British writer Charman, who has had an incredible run since getting an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s Tom Hanks-fronted Cold War drama Bridge Of Spies. He recently reteamed with Spielberg for a feature about about legendary newscaster Walter Cronkite and his relationship with the Vietnam War, which landed at DreamWorks.
In TV, Charman is working with Victoria producer Mammoth Screen on an adaptation of Henry Hemming’s upcoming nonfiction book, M: Maxwell Knight, M15’s Greatest Spymaster, the real-life story of one of the inspirations for the spy chief in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. He is repped by CAA, Grandview, Independent Talent Group and attorney Gretchen Rush.
Watergate is one of two high-profile limited series recently taken out by Smokehouse. The other, Catch-22, is based on Joseph Heller’s novel with Clooney starring and directing. It hails from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Clooney, who is repped by CAA, also is developing a narrative feature from The White Helmets, the Orlando von Einsiedel-directed documentary about the brave groups of first responders, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense.
Sonar’s TV series credits include Mr. Mercedes, The Son, The Shannara Chronicles and Taboo.
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