'American Gigolo' on Showtime: Why was the OG movie director Paul Schrader not involved in the TV adaptation?
Schrader went to on say that he had no intention of watching the show as he felt he 'couldn't be objective about it'
It's not been the greatest of starts for Showtime's 'American Gigolo'. The Jon Bernthal-starrer was panned by critics and the audience reviews ranged from average to below-par. The present-day reimagining of the iconic 1980 Richard Gere movie had some production snags, but perhaps the biggest was the director of the OG movie not wanting to be part of the series.
The remake has no connection to Paul Schrader, who directed Gere's movie. The filmmaker said in a Facebook post shared in June earlier this year that he believed the TV remake was "a bad idea" and that he decided not to be involved with the show when asked to be part of the project. "After the Showtime trailer appeared online I've been asked if I am involved. The answer is no," he said. "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 Kaye working a Hen Party… I thought that was the end of it."
He said, "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." Schrader went to on say that he had no intention of watching the show as he felt he "couldn't be objective about it and, even if I could, it's too much agita."
Per Showtime, the official synopsis reads, "Julian's attempts to break free and start a new life of honest means are sabotaged when his old madam delivers a cryptic message about a young girl's suicide. Meanwhile, Michelle circumvents her husband to find their runaway son." It's all back to square one for Julian as trouble follows him after news of a girl's suicide rattles the new beginning he looks for. The eight-episode series takes its time to build its world in the pilot with the second episode setting the tone of what to expect for the remainder of the season.
'American Gigolo' airs Fridays on streaming and Sundays at 9 pm ET on Showtime.