Jon Bernthal‘s career is shifting into high Gere.
The Walking Dead and Punisher actor has signed on to headline Showtime’s long-gestating TV reboot of American Gigolo, TVLine has learned. The project — which has received a pilot order — is being described as a “present-day reimagining” of the 1980 film that starred Richard Gere as high-end male escort Julian Kaye.
Bernthal’s Julian will be “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,” per Showtime.
Ray Donovan auteur David Hollander, meanwhile, has come aboard the project as writer/director/showrunner. (Playwright Neil LaBute was originally eyed to pen the pilot.) Hollander will serve as an EP alongside Jerry Bruckheimer (who produced the original film), Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed.
“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 Showtime prez Gary Levine in a statement. “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.”