HBO Orders Two Pilots From ‘The Wire’ Creator David Simon, James Franco Joins the One About Porn
While HBO has given director David Fincher an incredibly difficult time with his two prospective pilots (both of which are now likely dead), the network is moving ahead with two pilots from our other favorite David — The Wire creator David Simon is working on two new dramas, one a political series (of course), and the other inspired by the ‘70s porn scene in New York. Guess which one James Franco has joined? Actually, that’s not a question. You know which one.
THR reports that Simon is moving ahead on The Deuce, formerly titled Times Square. The series is set in New York in the 1970s as pornography is legalized and begins its rapid cultural ascension. The Deuce examines the explosion of the industry in Manhattan and its continued rise until HIV threatened to shatter it. Franco will star in the new series as twin brothers and heavy-hitters on the scene who ushered in mob control over the industry.
Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones vet Michelle MacLaren will direct the pilot of The Deuce, with Simon’s The Wire and Treme collaborator George Pelecanos on board as a writer (this series is just perfect already). Pelecanos describes the series thusly:
Porn, prostitution, pimps, the Mob, after-hours nightlife, institutional corruption, and New York in its Wild West heyday … it’s a world rich in character, and a fascinating story we’re eager to tell.
Meanwhile, HBO has also ordered an untitled political drama pilot from Simon, a contemporary series set on Capitol Hill, which examines partisan politics and the way money insidiously affects lawmaking. That definitely sounds like a Simon joint. The pilot will be the result of a collaboration between Simon and journalist Carl Bernstein (All the President’s Men), with Simon’s The Wire co-producer and writer Ed Burns on board to produce the Capitol Hill drama.
Up next is Simon’s New York political period mini-series Show Me a Hero, starring Oscar Isaac and Winona Ryder. There are six episodes total, with the first two premiering on August 16.