Watergate scandal as a popular topic in Hollywood | Inquirer Entertainment

Watergate scandal as a popular topic in Hollywood

/ 11:48 PM December 20, 2017

Image: AFP via AFP Relaxnews

Hot on the heels of George Clooney for Netflix, ABC and History, CBS Television Studios is the latest small screen studio to take on the Watergate scandal, the major political scandal that led to the resignation of United States President Richard Nixon in 1974.

What was supposed to be just a “third-rate burglary” — as described at the time by the White House press secretary — went on to become the U.S.’s most famous political scandal. More than 40 years later, Watergate still resonates in the U.S. and Hollywood is busy delving into its history.


CBS Television Studios is developing a series based on Thomas Mallon’s “Watergate” book for its Showtime cable network or its CBS All Access platform. Paul Giamatti is producing with screenplay by John Orloff (“Band of Brothers”). The project promises to take viewers behind the closed doors of power to the places where numerous secrets were exchanged, like Camp David, the Senate Caucus Room, the District of Columbia Jail and the Dupont Circle Mansion.


Seeking to resolve some of the scandal’s biggest mysteries, this limited series promises to tell the story through a kaleidoscope of colorful characters linked to the affair, although little known to the public.

George Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Liam Neeson retell history

The story of this political espionage scandal has been told several times on the big screen. In the 1976 movie, “All the President’s Men”, for example, Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. At the time, the pair proved the power of the fourth estate after their long and painstaking investigations brought to light illegal practices within the presidential administration.

Their work would not have been possible without the now famous “Deep Throat” source. This man, whose identity was discovered years later, was the subject of a recent movie starring Liam Neeson. In “The Secret Man”m released Sept. 29 in the U.S., the actor plays Mark Felt, the former FBI associate director who was a key source of information in revealing the Watergate scandal.

The scandal will soon be the subject of an eight-episode Netflix miniseries produced and directed by George Clooney and written by Matt Charman (“Bridge of Spies”). Each episode will focus on a key figure involved in the affair, including Richard Nixon, former attorney general John Mitchell and lawyer John Ehrlichman.

TV network ABC has reportedly been working on a series of the kind for several months, told through the eyes of John Dean, White House counsel for President Nixon. History is also reportedly preparing a documentary series on the scandal.


Moreover, although Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” (out on limited release from Dec. 22) isn’t strictly about Watergate, the film alludes the coming investigation when journalists from the Washington Post published extracts of a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, highlighting the methods used by the administration of the time. JB


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TAGS: All The President's Men, George Clooney, Netflix, Robert Redford, The Post, Watergate scandal

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