Paul Schrader labels American Gigolo-inspired TV series ‘terrible idea’

A release date for the series has not yet been confirmed.

Paul Schrader won’t be watching the upcoming TV version of American Gigolo.

The screenwriter/filmmaker wrote and directed the 1980 crime drama, which followed a high-priced escort, played by Richard Gere, who becomes involved with a prominent politician’s wife, portrayed by Lauren Hutton, while simultaneously becoming a suspect in a murder case.

Taxi Driver writer Schrader was recently asked whether he was involved in the production of the new drama series developed by David Hollander for the Showtime network, and he insisted he has had nothing to do with the programme.

“After the Showtime trailer appeared online I’ve been asked if I am involved. The answer is No. Some years ago, I received a call from Paramount asking about remaking American Gigolo as a series. I replied that I thought it was a terrible idea – times had changed, internet porn had redefined male sex work, viruses, etc,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday. “Then came another call saying Jerry Bruckheimer and Paramount had the rights to redo AG 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 went on to claim that the executive told him he had three options; take $50,000 (£40,000) and forgo involvement, take no money and have no input, or launch legal action.

He chose to take the $50,000.

And while Schrader has no interest in viewing the trailer or show, he wishes lead actors Jon Bernthal and Gretchen Mol all of the best.

“I’m a great fan of John Bernthal and wish Gretchen Mol the best,” the 75-year-old continued. “I don’t plan to watch the Showtime series. I don’t think I could be objective about it and, even if I could, it’s too much agita.”

A release date for the series has not yet been confirmed.

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