‘American Gigolo’ Director Paul Schrader on Showtime Series Adaptation: ‘I Don’t Plan to Watch’

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Although Showtime is pulling from his groundbreaking 1980 drama for its upcoming series, Paul Schrader has no interest in tuning into the network’s upcoming “American Gigolo” adaptation.

The writer-director clarified his lack of involvement in the production through one of his famed Facebook posts on Saturday morning.

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“Some years ago I received a call from Paramount asking about remaking ‘American Gigolo’ as a series,” Schrader wrote. “I replied that I thought it was a terrible idea — times had changed, internet porn had redefined male sex work, viruses, etc.”

Schrader also disclosed that he and director Martin Scorsese had warded off “attempts to redo” their collaboration “Taxi Driver.”

“Then came another call saying Jerry Bruckheimer and Paramount had the rights to redo [‘American Gigolo’] without my consent. I said I would think about how such a show could be structured. No, the caller explained, they did not want my involvement,” Schrader continued. “Here were my options: (1) take $50G and not be involved (2) take $0 and not be involved (3) threaten an expensive and futile lawsuit and not be involved. I took the $50G.”

Schrader went on to explain that he remains a fan of series lead Jon Bernthal. He also wished the best to Bernthal’s co-star, Gretchen Mol, and expressed regret that he “could have done a better job” with his 1999 film “Forever Mine,” which stars Mol.

“I don’t plan to watch the Showtime series,” he concluded. “I don’t think I could be objective about it and, even if I could, it’s too much agita.”

Hollander developed Showtime’s TV adaptation of Schrader’s film, which launched Richard Gere’s career. In addition to showrunning, Hollander served as director and executive producer on the series before exiting the project.

Bernthal, who also serves as a producer on the series, plays Gere’s Julian Kaye 15 years after he’s been arrested for murder. The male escort struggles to find his footing in the modern-day Los Angeles sex industry as he seeks out the truth about the setup that sent him to prison, all the while attempting to reconnect with his true love (Mol).

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