Has Hollywood forgiven Mel Gibson? If some doors still remain closed to the actor and filmmaker following his meltdown, a lot more are opening. Later this summer, Gibson leads the lean B-movie “Blood Father” (okay, it’s currently only set to open in Australia, but still), and he’s got his next directorial effort in the can, the wartime drama “Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield. Now, he’s set to take his growing comeback to TV.
Gibson will direct and co-write “The Barbary Coast.” He’ll be guiding Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson, and taking a role himself, in the adaptation of “Gangs Of New York” author Herbert Asbury‘s book about The Gold Rush era of San Francisco, and seamy criminal culture that emerged. Here’s the book synopsis:
The history of the Barbary Coast properly begins with the gold rush to California in 1849. If the precious yellow metal hadn’t been discovered … the development of San Francisco’s underworld in all likelihood would have been indistinguishable from that of any other large American city. Instead, owing almost entirely to the influx of gold-seekers and the horde of gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians, and other felonious parasites who battened upon them, there arose a unique criminal district that for almost seventy years was the scene of more viciousness and depravity, but which at the same time possessed more glamour, than any other area of vice and iniquity on the American continent. The Barbary Coast is Herbert Asbury’s classic chronicle of the birth of San Francisco—a violent explosion from which the infant city emerged full-grown and raging wild. From all over the world practitioners of every vice stampeded for the blood and money of the gold fields. Gambling dens ran all day including Sundays. From noon to noon houses of prostitution offered girls of every age and race. (In the 1850s, San Francisco was home to only one woman for every thirty men. It was not until 1910 that the sexes achieved anything close to parity in their populations.) This is the story of the banditry, opium bouts, tong wars, and corruption, from the eureka at Sutter’s Mill until the last bagnio closed its doors seventy years later.
It’s a terrific piece of material to work with,and Gibson’s visceral directing style could be a good match. No word yet on where the series might line, but the package looks like a hot one, so I bet there will be a more than few networks who will take a very close look. [Deadline]