Showtime’s TV adaptation of American Gigolo just got its first trailer, but Paul Schrader—who directed the original 1980 film with Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton—isn’t especially thrilled about it. Now, to be fair, it’s rare for Schrader to seem especially thrilled about anything, especially when he gets on the internet, but he’s back with another one of his fiery Facebook posts and those are always fun.
This comes from Deadline, and there’s an interesting twist to this one: It’s not the fact that Showtime is adapting Schrader’s movie that’s making him mad, it’s the simple fact of revisiting American Gigolo at all. In his Facebook post, Schrader says Showtime approached him about making an American Gigolo TV show at some point, and he said that he thought it was a “terrible idea”—not because nobody should touch his movie, but because it doesn’t really work anymore. “Times had changed,” he explained, citing that “internet porn had redefined male sex work, viruses, etc.,” and that he “couldn’t imagine [Richard Gere’s character] Julian Kay working a Hen Party.”
Later, Schrader says he learned that Paramount and Jerry Bruckheimer had the rights to do whatever they wanted with American Gigolo, regardless of his involvement, so he says his options were to take a token payment of $50,000 and not be involved, take no money and not be involved, or threaten to file a lawsuit that he would inevitably lose and still not be involved. “I took the $50G,” he said on Facebook. (We should all aspire to the level of Hollywood big-shot where you can deign to let people give you money for nothing and then complain about it on Facebook.)
Schrader also noted that he will not be watching the Showtime series, saying couldn’t “be objective about it” and that it would just be “too much agita” anyway.