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‘American Gigolo’ Starring Jon Bernthal Lands Showtime Pilot Order With ‘Ray Donovan’ Showrunner Onboard

Jon Bernthal American Gigolo
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Showtime is moving ahead on its series adaptation of “American Gigolo” with Jon Bernthal set for the lead role.

The premium cabler has given out a pilot order for the show, which was first put into development at the network in 2016. David Hollander, who most recently was the showrunner on Showtime’s “Ray Donovan,” will serve as writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner on “American Gigolo.” Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the original film, will also executive produce along with Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed of Jerry Bruckheimer Television. Bernthal will produce in addition to starring. The pilot hails from Paramount Television Studios, with Paramount Pictures having produced the film.

The series is described as a present-day reimagining of the iconic 1980 film written and directed by Paul Schrader. Bernthal will play Julian Kaye, the character played by Richard Gere in the film. Julian is 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.

“’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,” said Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime. “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.”

Should the project go to series it would mark a return to TV for Bernthal, who is known for his starring roles in the Marvel-Netflix series “The Punisher” and “The Walking Dead.” On the film side, he was just in the Oscar-winning drama “Ford v. Ferrari” and has starred in others features such as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Baby Driver,” “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” “The Accountant,” and “Sicario.”

He is repped by WME, The Burstein Company, and Sloane Offer.

It was announced in early February that the seventh season of “Ray Donovan,” which concluded in January, would be the show’s last. Hollander also created the show’s “The Guardian” and “Heartland” and served as executive producer and writer on “The Cleaner.” He wrote and directed the feature “Personal Effects” starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Ashton Kutcher and Kathy Bates.

He is repped by Hansen Jacobson.