Showtime has officially given a series pickup to the American Gigolo re imagining starring Jon Bernthal (The Punisher, The Walking Dead) in the lead role and written and directed by David Hollander (Ray Donovan). Bernthal has been attached to the project since last year, and a pilot was filmed, but this is the first confirmation that the network will be moving forward with the crime drama show, which marks Bernthal‘s return to the small screen.
The new American Gigolo series is being described as a present-day reimagining of the iconic 1980 film. Bernthal will play the character of Julian Kaye, who is introduced in the series 15 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 his one true love Michelle, played by Boardwalk Empire‘s Gretchen Mol.
“If you haven’t already fallen under the spell of Jon Bernthal, get ready,” said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. “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.”
Additional casting was also announced for the upcoming Showtime series. In addition to Bernthal and Mol, American Gigolo‘s cast will include Rosie O’Donnell as homicide Detective Sunday, Lizzie Brocheré (Falling Water) as sex work ring heiress Isabelle, Gabriel LaBelle (Dead Shack) as a younger version of Julian named Johnny, Leland Orser (Ray Donovan) as Richard Stratton, a self-made tech billionaire, and guest star Wayne Brady as Lorenzo, Julian’s best friend and mentor.
Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the original 1980 movie starring Richard Gere in the titular role, will serve as executive producer along with Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed. Bernthal will also produce. The project is a production of Paramount Television Studios.
No official premiere date or episode count has been confirmed for the American Gigolo series, but stay tuned to Collider for more news about this upcoming show.