Television is about to get 200% spicier as Jon Bernthal nabs the lead in Showtime’s American Gigolo adaptation pilot. If the American Gigolo pilot moves into a series at Showtime, Bernthal would return to TV in a major way after star-making turns in TV shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead and Netflix’s Marvel series The Punisher.
It’s been a long road to a pilot order for American Gigolo. This TV adaptation has been in the works since 2014. If the pilot is successful, American Gigolo will become a full-fledged series. Thanks to a Showtime press release, we know the cable channel has ordered a pilot for the series which will be written and directed by former Ray Donovanshowrunner David Hollander. Bernthal is both a producer on the project and lead character Julian Kaye, the character first played by Richard Gere in the 1980 movie of the same name written and directed by Paul Schrader. Serving as an executive producer on the American Gigolo TV series is Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produced the movie, as well as Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed of Jerry Bruckheimer Television.
Plot details for the Bernthal-led American Gigolo series have also been revealed by Showtime. The new series “is a present-day re-imagining of the iconic 1980 film.” Schrader’s feature followed Gere’s Julian as he went from in-demand Los Angeles gigolo to the prime suspect in the murder of a high-powered businessman’s wife. The American Gigolo Showtime series sees Bernthal’s Julian “introduced 18 years after he’s been arrested for murder and struggling to find his footing in the modern-day Los Angeles sex industry, while 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.”
In a statement on the American Gigolo series, Showtime’s Co-President of Entertainment Gary Levine remarked:
“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. 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.”
There is no official word on additional casting nor do we know when the pilot is set to begin filming and subsequently debut on Showtime.