Universal Content Productions is continuing to film “Gaslit,” its upcoming Watergate TV series for Starz despite star Sean Penn’s refusal to return to work until every single crew member is vaccinated, TheWrap has learned.
UCP stipulates that only those designated in Zone A on a production are required to get vaccinated, which is all that is allowed under the current Return to Work protocols. Zone A includes the cast and everyone who comes in close contact with them. Penn, however, wants those in Zones B and C to also be required to take one of the three available vaccines.
At the moment, the production is filming the scenes that don’t include Penn, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap. Reps for UCP and Starz declined to comment, while a rep for Penn did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. It is not known at this time if UCP has any contingency plan should Penn continue to hold out on returning.
Penn is set to co-star with Julia Roberts in the Starz limited series, which is described by the studio 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.”
Penn is set to play Richard Nixon’s loyal attorney general, John Mitchell, with Roberts playing Mitchell’s Arkansan socialite wife, Martha. Dan Stevens and Betty Gilpin also star.
Sam Esmail, Matt Ross and Robbie Pickering are executive producing the series, with Ross set to direct and Pickering acting as showrunner. The series hails from UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, where Esmail has an overall deal.