American Gigolo Teaser Drops with Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye

Jon Bernthal (We Own This City) is starring in an updated version of Paul Schrader’s 1980 neo-noir American Gigolo. Bernthal takes over the iconic role of Julian Kaye, originally played by Richard Gere, a male escort framed for murder. The Showtime series picks up with Julian’s release from prison, where he’s spent 15 years, as he tries to figure out why he was framed and falsely convicted of murder. A teaser for the upcoming series dropped today.

The upcoming thriller follows Julian as he navigates the modern-day Los Angeles sex-work industry and explores complicated relationships with his former lover (Gretchen Mol) and mother. The series also stars Rosie O’Donell as a Detective working to uncover the truth behind Julian’s false conviction; Lizzie Brocheré as Isabelle, the heiress to a ring of sex workers; Gabriel LaBelle as a young Julian; Leland Orser as Richard Stratton, a self-made tech billionaire; and guest star Wayne Brady as Lorenzo, Julian’s best friend and mentor.


In a statement to EW, American Gigolo Executive Producer Jerry Bruckheimmer said:

“It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 40 years since the film release of American Gigolo and now we have the chance to continue the story of American Gigolo as a TV series. Expect heightened mystery, danger, and desires as Jon Bernthal takes the movie’s iconic character on a contemporary, exhilarating journey.”

American Gigolo recently hit some road bumps as show runner David Hollander exited the series during an ongoing misconduct investigation. Hollander wrote and directed the pilot episode for American Gigolo. After Hollander’s separation from Showtime, show runner responsibilities were designated to Nikki Toscano (The Offer), Russell Rothberg (Happy Happy Bang Bang) and David Bar Katz (Ray Donovan). However, three weeks ago, Bar Katz parted ways with the series.

American Gigolo is produced by Paramount TV Studios with Jerry Bruckheimer Television. The release date remains unknown.

The Impact of Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo

Paramount Pictures 

The 1980 film starred Richard Gere as high-priced escort Julian Kaye, whose upper-crust clientele funds his lavish lifestyle and stylish outfits. The film propelled Gere to stardom and is remembered as one of the first major Hollywood films to feature male frontal nudity. Although the film has received mixed critic and audience reviews, the neo-noir drama has always appealed to the fashion crowds and is regarded as one of the most stylish films of the decade. The film commissioned designer Giorgio Armani, who had yet to become a household name, to create Kaye’s timeless wardrobe.

American Gigolo was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for its musical score, composed by Giorgio Moroder. The film’s soundtrack peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 chart and included Blondie’s number one single Call Me.

In a role reversal, Gere would famously go on to play Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman, opposite Julia Roberts. This time around, Gere played a wealthy man who hired a prostitute to accompany him to a series of business events.