When Paul Shrader’s American Gigolo hit the movie theaters (remember those?) back in 1980, it became a blockbuster movie and it turned Richard Gere into a real star. Forty years later, as slashfilm.com reports, Showtime just announced that it is to release a TV series based on the film.
It will star Jon Bernthal (Punisher, The Walking Dead) in the role of Julian Kaye, the character Gere portrayed in the original movie. Showtime calls the series “a present-day reimagining of the 1980 film,” and SlashFilm likens it more as “a direct continuation of that story.”
In the series, Bernhal’s character “is introduced 18 years after he’s been arrested for murder and struggling to find his footing in the modern-day Los Angeles sex industry.” At the same time, he is “seeking the truth about the set-up that sent him to prison all those years ago and also hoping to reconnect with Michelle, his one true love.” There’s no word yet on who will play Michelle in the TV adaptation.
The series pilot is written and directed by David Hollander, who was responsible for the now missing-in-action series Ray Donovan.
Showtime’s press release also says that “American Gigolo comes with all the sizzle you’d expect, but it also offers a deep dive into the complicated waters of relationships and sexuality in 2020,” said Gary Levine, Showtime’s president of entertainment. “We’ve assembled an ‘A’ team to adapt this iconic movie into a Showtime series with the talent and magnetism of Jon Bernthal, the exquisite filmmaking and showrunning of David Hollander, the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer and our new sister studio, Paramount.”