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Maggie Gyllenhaal to Star in David Simon’s Porn Pilot for HBO

Maggie Gyllenhaal has signed on to star in and produce “The Deuce,” scribes David Simon and George Pelecanos’s HBO pilot set in the Times Square demimonde of the 1970s and 1980s.

She will play Eileen Merrell, a Times Square hooker with the street name “Candy” who is drawn into the fledgling porn industry. She joins a cast that also includes exec producer James Franco in the project set to explore the rough-and-tumble world of the porn industry that existed in midtown Manhattan until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market ended the bawdy turbulence.

Simon and Pelecanos are also exec producing along with Nina K. Noble, Richard Price and Michelle MacLaren, who is also directing. Marc Henry Johnson, who was instrumental in documenting the era, is producing.

Both Gyllenhaal and Simon have had noteworthy years, her for Emmy-nominated starring role in the SundanceTV miniseries “The Honorable Woman” and him for “Show Me a Hero,” the Oscar Isaac-starring HBO miniseries he co-created with William F. Zorzi. Pelecanos and Simon previously collaborated on HBO series “Treme” and “The Wire.”

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