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James Franco To Star In ‘70s Porn Drama Pilot From ‘The Wire’ Creator David Simon, Michelle MacLaren Directing

James Franco To Star In ‘70s Porn Drama Pilot From ‘The Wire’ Creator David Simon, Michelle MacLaren Directing

The Wire” creator David Simon is working at a pretty quick clip these days. His miniseries “Show Me A Hero” starring Oscar Isaac will surely make waves on HBO once “True Detective” is over, and he’s got several new projects developing. One is a mini-series about the 1970s porn industry.

Simon previously told Collider that the show “will work because it’s a story about human beings, and it’s a critique of market capitalism. That’s the purpose of the piece. It’s a product that didn’t exist, and then it existed. What happened to the human beings that made it come to be, and what was the cost of that? If we can affect that and stay on that fence, and not be either sneering at it or indulgent in it, it will be a worthwhile piece. If we don’t, then God help us. “

READ MORE: David Simon Talks Controversial Widescreen Conversion Of ‘The Wire’ For HD

“We’re working on it now. I think the scripts are very strong. If it works, it will not be because it’s prurient,” he added. “It will not be making porn to critique porn. And it won’t work [if] it’s puritan and sneering at the people that were there when that industry came together after the Supreme Court made it legal.”

The show is called “The Deuce,” and HBO has ordered a pilot episode with James Franco attached to star and executive produce (he’ll be playing twin brothers). Michelle MacLaren, the Emmy winning director best known for her work on shows such as “The X-Files,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (and not to mention being briefly attached to DC’s “Wonder Woman” film) will direct. Simon wrote the pilot with George Pelecanos (“The Wire” and “Treme”) and Richard Price (“The Wire,” “Clockers”); the two are working on additional scripts in hopes that the show will get picked up by HBO.

According to Variety the narrative is set in the “Times Square demimonde of the 1970s and 1980s, explores the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York, looking into the rough-and-tumble world of midtown Manhattan until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence. The project is partly inspired by the career of twin brothers who were players in the Times Square world and became fronts for mob control of the volatile and lucrative sex industry.”

HBO has picked up another pilot from Simon: the other is is an untitled project about Capitol Hill and is a collaboration with journalist Carl Bernstein, best known for his work in the Watergate scandal that birthed “All The President’s Men.” 

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