‘The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal Joins Showtime’s ‘American Gigolo’ Pilot

Jon Bernthal American Gigolo Richard Gere Role Showtime Pilot
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox; Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

If you’re still upset over The Punisher‘s cancellation, you’re in luck — Jon Bernthal is returning to TV!

The actor has been cast as the lead in the American Gigolo pilot on Showtime, TVLine reports. Bernthal will take on Richard Gere’s role from the 1980 film, high-end male escort Julian, in this “present-day reimagining.”

According to the logline, we’ll meet Julian “18 years after he’s been arrested for murder and [is] struggling to find his footing in the modern-day Los Angeles sex industry, while seeking the truth about the set-up that sent him to prison all those years ago and also hoping to reconnect with Michelle, his one true love.”

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The stars are collaborating on the title based on the graphic novel of the same name.

American Gigolo comes with all the sizzle you’d expect, but it also offers a deep dive into the complicated waters of relationships and sexuality in 2020,” Showtime president Gary Levine said in a statement. “We’ve assembled an ‘A’ team to adapt this iconic movie into a Showtime series with the talent and magnetism of Jon Bernthal, the exquisite filmmaking and showrunning of David Hollander, the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer and our new sister studio, Paramount.”

This keeps Hollander (who will serve as writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner) in the Showtime family; he was the showrunner on Ray Donovan, which was just canceled after seven seasons (to his surprise). Joining him as executive producers are Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, and KristieAnne Reed.

Richard Gere American Gigolo 1980 Movie

(Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection)

Showtime first announced it was developing this reboot in 2016 with Paramount TV and Bruckheimer.

In addition to his role as Frank Castle on The Punisher and Daredevil, Bernthal is best known for playing Shane on The Walking Dead. His previous TV credits also include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, SuperMansion, and Mob City.