Deadline reports Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to topline the forthcoming David Simon project The Deuce. Gyllenhaal will star opposite James Franco, who will be pulling double duty by playing twin brothers in the drama pilot, which follows the legalization and rise of the porn industry in midtown Manhattan. Set in the ’70s and ’80s, The Deuce will also cover how the rise of HIV, the cocaine epidemic, and the renewed real estate market in midtown impacted the industry and eventually contributed to its demise.
Gyllenhaal will play Eileen “Candy” Merrell, a hooker in Times Square with an entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, Eileen, so far as we know, does not have a secret twin, so Gyllenhaal will only play one character as opposed to Franco’s two. The Deuce is written by Simon, who will executive produce alongside George Pelecanos. Breaking Bad’s Michelle MacLaren is set to direct the pilot.
Gyllenhaal recently starred in the SundanceTV miniseries The Honorable Woman, for which she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie (she lost to Frances McDormand, for it was the Year Of Olive Kitteridge). The Deuce is slated to start filming this month in New York.