American Gigolo has received a series order from Showtime, with Jon Bernthal (The Punisher, The Walking Dead) set to star. Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, and Hector Elizondo appeared in the first American Gigolo film, which was released in 1980. The story revolves around a male escort in Los Angeles who forms a romantic relationship with a politician’s wife while being accused of a murder he did not commit.
The series premiered in 2014 on Paramount TV and was created by Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produced the 1980 picture. With writer/director David Hollander (Ray Donovan) and writer Neil LaBute, American Gigolo went through various versions at Showtime in 2016 before getting a pilot order in March 2020. (In the Company of Men, The Wicker Man).
The new series is a current retelling of the 1980 film. Bernthal plays Julian Kaye, a man who was arrested 15 years ago for a crime he did not commit and is now attempting to integrate into the modern sex industry in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, he investigates the crime that landed him in prison and pursues Michelle romantically (Gretchen Mol).
Bernthal will also serve as a producer on the upcoming remake of American Gigolo. Bernthal is well known for his roles as Shane Walsh in The Walking Dead and as The Punisher in Marvel’s The Punisher. He also played in the Academy Award-nominated film Ford v Ferrari. He also recently wrapped production on King Richard, a drama sports film, and The Many Saints of Newark, a crime drama.
Showtime’s reworking of the 1980 film American Gigolo is made more compelling by its specific viewpoint, which could lead to a more current and nuanced understanding of the sex work industry’s assumptions. Rather than a remake, Bernthal will be able to delve further into various elements of Julian throughout the course of a series.
Although a show with the dark, mature themes of American Gigolo would be a suitable fit for Showtime programming, it is unlikely to be a huge draw for those who aren’t already interested in Showtime’s content. As of right now, there is no official launch date or episode count, but stay tuned for more information.