Netflix keeps spending money. Looking at a list of upcoming original TV series and original movies, ignoring future pick-ups from festivals like Sundance and Cannes, is genuinely daunting, ranging from a Boss Baby animated series to The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a Western anthology overseen by the Coen brothers. On the movie side of things, they have Duncan Jones‘ long-delayed Mute coming out next year, along with Gareth Evans‘ Apostle and The Irishman, the next movie by Martin Scorsese. And mind you, these are just the big-ticket items in a sea of developing projects, a good portion of which have plenty of promise.
Add George Clooney‘s next project into that same sea. Sources are reporting today that Clooney is developing a limited series centered on Watergate for the streaming giant. Matt Charmin, who penned the script for Steven Spielberg‘s highly undervalued Bridge of Spies, will be working with Clooney on the series and assumably will be writing part of the limited series at the very least. It’s the second project to be announced from Clooney’s deal with Netflix, as the multi-hyphenate star signed on to direct and star in an adaptation of Joseph Heller‘s beloved Catch-22 for the streamings service. Deadline reports that the Watergate series will run for eight episodes, each one of which will be devoted to the singular experiences of one major figure in the Watergate scandal, buying into the popularized Rashomon storytelling style.
The last era of an openly crooked President is back in vogue for pretty apparent reasons, but Nixon and Watergate have always been natural magnets for artists. Innumerable major actors have played the President, from Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor to Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon to Anthony Hopkins in Nixon, and the scandal has produced at least one stone-cold classic: All the President’s Men. The allure of Clooney’s project would be undeniable even without his name or Charmin’s attached because of these elements alone but this is a similarly promising prospect for Netflix. When Clooney sticks to the nuances of behavior and language in politicians and media types, he often comes out on the winning end. As long as he resists his seemingly compulsive need to self-congratulate, his partnership with Charmin and Netflix could prove to be one of his more relevant projects when all is said and done.