Tuesday, January 19, 2016

David Simon Drama 'The Deuce' Starring James Franco & Maggie Gyllenhaal Gets HBO Series Order

HBO is expanding its relationship with David Simon by giving a series order to his period porn drama The Deuce starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. An episode count and expected premiere date were not announced.

The drama follows the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York's Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s. It explores the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence. Named for 42nd Street, The Deuce is inspired in part by the career of twin brothers who were players in the Times Square world and became fronts for Mob control of the volatile and lucrative sex industry from its originals.

Franco will play both twins, Vincent and Frankie Martino. Gyllenhall will play Eileen Merrell, a Times Square hooker known as "Candy." She is a veteran with an entrepreneurial bent who is drawn into the fledging porn industry.

The cast also features Gary Carr, Margarita Levieva, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Dominique Fishback and Emily Meade.

David Simon is writing the drama with his longtime collaborator George Pelecanos and Richard Price. Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) directed the pilot, and will executive produce with Simon, Pelecanos, Price and Nina Noble. Marc Henry Johnson is a producer. In addition to starring, Franco will receive an executive producer credit, while Gyllenhaal will be credited as a producer.

The Deuce marks HBO's latest collaboration with Simon following The Wire, Treme and Show Me a Hero. The drama also marks the latest series regular TV roles for Franco and Gyllenhaal - coming off of Hulu's 11.22.63 and SundanceTV's The Honorable Woman, respectively.