American Gigolo: Showtime Orders Jon Bernthal-Starring Series Adapt

Showtime has ordered a TV series for American Gigolo, its long-in-the-works series adaptation, with former Punisher Jon Bernthal attached to star and produce. The show will be made by David Hollander, Paramount TV Studios, and Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

American Gigolo: Showtime Greenlights TV Series of 1980 Movie
Still from "American Gigolo", Showtime

Paramount TV originally teamed with Jerry Bruckheimer in 2014 to develop American Gigolo: The Series. Bruckheimer produced the original 1980 movie written and directed by Paul Schrader, which starred Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton. The project was set up at Showtime in 2016 with Neil LaBute as writer. It has since gone through multiple versions during development. The project, with Hollander as writer & EP and Bernthal starring, received a pilot order at Showtime in March 2020. The original movie made Richard Gere a star while Schrader drew on influences from European Cinema like Robert Bresson's Pickpocket to give the story spiritual and existential undertones.

The TV series, written and directed by Hollander, will be an updated reboot of the movie. Bernthal plays Julian Kaye, an ex-con out after serving 15 years for murder who gets work in the Los Angeles sex industry. He sets out to reconnect with Michelle, his one true love, played by Gretchen Mol, while also trying to find out who set him and got him sent to prison. It's a classic noir tale.

The rest of the Cast includes Rosie O'Donnell as homicide Detective Sunday, Lizzie Brocheré as sex work ring heiress Isabelle, Gabriel LaBelle as a younger version of Julian named Johnny, and Leland Orser as Richard Stratton, a self-made tech billionaire. Wayne Brady also guest stars as Lorenzo, Julian's best friend and mentor. Somehow, Wayne Brady keeps popping up in dark shows these days.

Hollander will be showrunner, which of course gets him an executive producer credit. Bruckheimer will executive produce along with Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed. Bernthal will also get a producer credit. The series will be produced by Paramount Television Studios for Showtime.

"If you haven't already fallen under the spell of Jon Bernthal, get ready," said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment at Showtime Networks. "Jon absolutely owns the screen with his searing, brooding and vulnerable performance in this contemporary version of American Gigolo. Writer/director David Hollander brilliantly reimagines the seductive original film, confronting the mystery, the exhilaration and the danger of our deepest desires."

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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