James Franco to star as twins in new HBO porn drama from David Simon

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James Franco

And he’s not, as I initially thought, taking over from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny de Vito in the sequel to Twins. Instead he’s going to assume the lead role(s) of a pair of twins (twins, Basil!) heavily involved in the porn industry in a new series titled The Deuce that’s currently in development for premium cable channel HBO.

David Simon, the producer with the Midas touch, is on board as show runner. He’s produced a string of hits for HBO over the years including the recently-ended Treme, Generation Kill, and the second best cop show to date – The Wire (sorry fans, The Shield is still the best).

As per Collider Simon’s described the show as “a critique of modern capitalism nestled within the wild ascension of the porn industry into one of the most profitable businesses in the world”. The story will follow the rise of the New York-based porn industry in the 1970s and will cover the HIV epidemic, the heavy cocaine usage, and organised crime influence over the industry through to the mid 1980s when the booming retail market in the city forced it to find greener, well-manicured pastures elsewhere.

David Simon

Simon, a former journalist, always brings incredible detail and authenticity to the stories he tells so I’m very interested to see how he approaches this one. I’m also keen to see Franco doing more than coasting along playing ironic versions of himself. He’s also no stranger to mainstream projects involving the porn industry as he played the iconic Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in 2013’s Lovelace – the biographical drama of 1970s pornographic actress Linda Lovelace. Collider is also reporting that Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren is being sought to direct the pilot, and possibly the series.

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All-in-all it sounds like a really interesting project from people with an excellent track record tackling a semi-taboo subject that has touched all of us at one point or another, and something I’m very keen to see. How about you?

Last Updated: August 7, 2015

Trevor Davies

I like pie, I think.

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