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Does everyone have their “1980s Movies Being Developed as TV Series” bingo cards out? It’s time to play again, and the latest feature to take the small screen leap is the 1980 murder drama American Gigolo. You know, the one where Richard Gere played an escort ten years before needing one in Pretty Woman. I guess TV does need more shirtless men on it.
Surprisingly enough, this project isn’t solely the product of greedy TV execs sharpening their teeth on someone else’s work. For American Gigolo, Paramount TV is teaming with the film’s mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who will be executive producing, as well as the movie’s writer/director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), who is taking on an executive consultant role. Barring the inclusion of a heavily complex science angle coming into this sex-for-money story, one has to wonder what kind of “consulting” will get done here. Still, better to have the original squad behind the project than not, as 20th Century Fox discovered when its Say Anything quasi-sequel was badmouthed into cancellation by director Cameron Crowe.
For those who might not remember, American Gigolo starred Gere as Julian Kaye, an L.A. prostitute who enjoys his coke and his cars as much as he does banging hot broads. (Such as Lauren Hutton.) One of his clients shows up dead, and even though he didn’t do it, suspicions grow when he can’t come up with a solid alibi. It’s not the most complicated thriller, but it’s got some good stuff going for it. The oh-so-1980s opening, however, is not entirely a part of that “good stuff.” Check it out below with its festively cursive cast and crew names.
Now that’s how you show a guy driving from 17 different angles. I’m actually not dead set against this idea, as the male escort lead character is not a very prevalent one even in today’s salacious TV landscape. It’s basically just a twisty murder mystery, which is about 40% of the series on TV right now. And if we can’t agree that it isn’t a terrible idea, can we at least agree that this is a much better gigolo story to adapt than a Deuce Bigalow movie? Even saying that made me shudder.
It’s not clear where on the network scale Bruckheimer and his producer team will be aiming to take American Gigolo, but I’m betting cable. Paramount TV is all over the place with adaptations, as they are currently working on projects for Minority Report, Ghost, Terminator and The Truman Show, to name a few. How much money would you leave on the nightstand for a weekly engagement with American Gigolo?