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Paul Schrader claims American Gigolo is being remade ‘without my consent’: ‘It’s a terrible idea’

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Paul Schrader has said that the forthcoming TV remake of his film American Gigolo is a “terrible idea”.

Written and directed by Schrader, the 1980 film stars Richard Gere as a male escort.

It is being remade as a 10-part series for US network Showtime starring Jon Bernthal, with a trailer being released earlier this week.

In a post shared on Facebook on Saturday (4 June), Schrader explained that he was not involved with the project and thought it was a “terrible idea”.

“After the Showtime trailer appeared online I’ve been asked if I am involved. The answer is No,” 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.”

Schrader then claimed that Paramount and producer Jerry Bruckheimer had bought the rights to remake American Gigolo “without my consent”, but that he was told he couldn’t be involved.

“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. I haven’t seen the trailer,” he wrote.

“I’m a great fan of John Bernthal and wish Gretchen Mol the best… 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.”

The Independent has contacted Paramount and Bruckheimer’s representatives for comment.

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