Jon Bernthal Is An ‘American Gigolo’ For Showtime’s New Drama Series

Based On Paul Schrader's Steamy 1980 Film Starring Richard Gere

It’s been a pretty shitty day, with just about every news story a delay caused by coronavirus. So here’s some good news worth sharing, news that guarantees fans of Jon Bernthal who want to see more (possibly MUCH more) of the actor will be very happy. Showtime has set Bernthal to lead a new drama pilot based on Paul Schrader’s steamy 1980 crime film American Gigolo.

The series has long been in the works by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who is now working with Ray Donovan writer/director David Hollander.  Intriguingly, this won’t be a total remake or reboot of Schrader’s movie, which starred Richard Gere as Julian Kaye, a narcissistic male sex worker in Los Angeles, servicing only to the highest-class clientele. His world goes awry when one of his clients ends up murdered, with Julian the prime suspect. The film helped turn Richard Gere into a superstar leading man, while also being one of the rare cases of a major motion picture with male frontal nudity.

The new show finds Bernthal in the role of Julian Kaye, released from jail 18 years after his murder conviction. Seeking to rejoin the Hollywood sex industry, Julian also wants to find out the truth behind his arrest and reconnect with his lost love, Michelle.

I don’t know if Bernthal will be quite as exposed as Gere was, but it’s a role that all but guarantees a hefty fashion budget.  Considering the wealth of talent already involved, expect Showtime to pick this up for series quickly.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.