It takes less than a minute for Jon Bernthal to prove he’s the right man for Showtime’s American Gigolo remake—even if he thinks otherwise. The actor leads the upcoming drama, which is based on Paul Schrader’s 1980 film of the same name starring Richard Gere. The show is a modern-day reimagining of the neo-noir crime thriller.
In the show, Bernthal plays Julian Kaye. After a wrongful conviction, Julian is released from prison after 15 years and is forced to navigate a complicated relationship with his ex, Michelle (Gretchen Mol), his mother, and other people who betrayed him. He also has to reconcile with his past as an escort. Detective Sunday (Rosie O’Donnell) seeks the truth about the murder that sent Julian to prison in the first place. In the process, she unearths a larger conspiracy.
As seen in the all too brief teaser, Bernthal sizzles as, ahem, an American gigolo while romancing Michelle. Fast-paced footage also shows a bloodied Julian trying to run away from the police before being caught, and then sitting opposite a straight-faced Detective Sunday—what a fun name—who was played by Hector Elizondo in the film. Will the two eventually collaborate to figure out who framed him?
The series was developed for TV by David Hollander, but he exited amid an ongoing misconduct investigation. Seven of the 10 episodes were already filmed by the time he was fired. Nikki Toscano and Russell Rothberg (The Offer) then joined as consulting producers. The cast also includes Wayne Brade as Julian’s friend and mentor, Lorenzo, and Lizzie Brocheré as Isabelle, the heiress to a ring of sex workers. Gabriel LaBelle, Leland Orser, and Laura Liguori round out the ensemble.
A series premiere date is still TBD, and we’re also still waiting on a longer trailer now.