Recent years have seen an unprecedented change in the entertainment industry as more and more big screen performers have been moving to the small screen. Traditionally, actors have used television careers to launch into film careers. Nowadays, however, with projects with shorter runs on cable networks known for producing high-quality series that tend to sweep the awards circuit, a migration from film to TV seems only natural. Maggie Gyllenhaal already headed to TV for The Honourable Woman, and has now been cast to play a hooker in the pilot for the new HBO drama The Deuce.

Set in the 1970s and 1980s, EW reports The Deuce will focus on the sex industry during an era when the legalization of pornography brought it from the seedy underbelly of society to greater public prominence. Maggie Gyllenhaal will playa Times Square hooker named Eileen Merrell, also known as Candy. A veteran in her trade, an entrepreneurial bent will draw Candy toward pornography.

Despite HBO being a network known for nudity, The Deuce promises to be much more than a platform for topless actresses. The show will be covering the rise of the porn industry, as well as its problems, with the emergence of HIV, the pervasive cocaine epidemic, and the Manhattan real estate market bringing in more reputable tenants. If the pilot is successful and The Deuce is ordered to series, Maggie Gyllenhaal will undoubtedly have plenty to do as Candy.

If ordered to series, The Deuce will also be Maggie Gyllenhaal’s very first stint as a regular on television. Perhaps best known for replacing Katie Holmes as the ill-fated Rachel Dawes for the second installment of the Dark Knight trilogy, Gyllenhaal has done more for the silver screen than being abused by the Joker during a blockbuster film. With roles ranging from Secretary to Adaptation to Stranger Than Fiction, Gyllenhaal has proven she is capable of handling multiple genres with nuance.

She is not the only big screen star to be featured in the pilot of The Deuce. James Franco will be joining her as the man behind a pair of twin mobsters. As the requisite dreamboat of the late lamented Freaks and Geeks series that sadly only ran for one season from 1999 - 2000, The Deuce will be Franco’s return as a major television series regular. He’s spent most of his time in the years since Freaks and Geeks starring in films ranging from Spider-Man to Pineapple Express to 127 Hours, proving that Maggie Gyllenhaal will not be the only performer capable bring adaptability and nuance to The Deuce.

While The Deuce has only been commissioned for a pilot at this point, the cast will include movie stars such as Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco may just be enough to promote the premise to series. We'll let you know if that happens.

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