Paul Schrader has branded the TV adaptation of ‘American Gigolo’ a “terrible idea”.
The 75-year-old filmmaker directed the original 1980 movie – which starred Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton – and after Showtime shared the first trailer for their upcoming series earlier this week, he’s spoken out to stress he has no involvement in the project and won’t be tuning in to see Jon Bernthal, Gretchen Mol and Rosie O’Donnell on the show.
He wrote on Facebook: “After the Showtime trailer appeared online I’ve been asked if I am involved. The answer is no…
“I’m a great fan of John Bernthal and wish Gretchen Mol the best (also wish I could have done a better job with the film I wrote and directed for her–sorry for that, Gretch).
“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.”
Paul explained he had been approached about the possibility of adapting the story – which centres on a male escort accused of murder – but he felt it wouldn’t work in the modern age.
He wrote: “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.
“I couldn’t imagine Julian Kay working a Hen Party. (Scorsese and I had fought off similar attempts to redo Taxi Driver for years.) I thought that was the end of it.”
But the filmmaker was then told the series was going ahead anyway and producer Jerry Bruckheimer didn’t want him to be involved.
He continued: ” 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. 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.”