Paul Schrader Slammed The TV Remake Of His Film ‘American Gigolo,’ Calling It A ‘Terrible Idea’



Paul Schrader is many things: a legendary screenwriter, a beloved film director — and a DGAF crank on Facebook. The author of Taxi Driver, who’s had a resurgence of late with First Reformed and The Card Counter, loves to go on the social media service and speak his mind, not caring who he offends. His latest target: the TV adaptation of one of his greatest films, 1980’s American Gigolo.


Showtime is behind the reboot, which stars the mighty Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye, a perpetually well-dressed male escort who gets embroiled in some shady goings-on. Richard Gere played Kaye in the original, and it turned him into a megastar and sex symbol. It could do the same for respected and always-welcome character actor Bernthal. But Schrader won’t even be watching it.


“After the Showtime trailer appeared online I’ve been asked if I am involved,” Schrader wrote in his post. “The answer is no.” When they told him about it, he told them exactly what was on his mind.


“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,” Schrader wrote. “I thought that was the end of it.”


Still, he did take the money, and he explained why. “They did not want my involvement. 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,” wrote Schrader. “I took the $50G.”


Schrader also said he would not be watching it, saying there was no way he “could be objective about it and, even if I could, it’s too much agita.”


Bernthal has never worked with Schrader before, but he was incredible in The Wolf of Wall Street, by Schrader’s frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese. Schrader did direct one of the show’s other stars, Gretchen Mol, in 1999’s Forever Mine.


The American Gigolo show currently has no release date.


(Via Deadline)