James Franco Will Play Twin Gangsters In An Incredible-Sounding HBO Series From David Simon

I normally try not to get too excited about a new James Franco project, on account of he has a tendency to get involved with so many things that he can only sort of half-assedly skate through any one, but this latest sounds so amazing I can’t resist. It’s called Deuce, and it’s an HBO series about the ’70s-’80s porn industry (yes!) from The Wire/Treme creator David Simon (YES!), starring James Franco as identical twin gangsters (*eggplant emoji*). According to Variety, it just landed a series order.

“The Deuce” follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early ’70s through the mid ’80s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real-estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence. The series is partly inspired by the career of twin brothers, Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino, who were players in the Times Square world and became fronts for mob control of the volatile and lucrative sex industry. Franco will play both twins.

Simon co-wrote the drama with George Pelecanos. (Variety)

Franco is executive producing, as is Maggie Gyllenhaal, who will reportedly play a Times Square hooker named “Candy.” No word on whether she followed your mom around for research.

David Simon is a former Baltimore Sun reporter who wrote a book, Homicide, based on experiences in 1991, which became the basis for both Homicide the TV show and The Wire. Pelecanos (not to be confused with infamous mobbed-up private investigator Anthony Pellicano) has a similar pedigree, having written detective fiction set in his hometown of Washington, D.C., before also working as a write and producer on The Wire.

James Franco, of course, previously produced a documentary about, and explored the gay S&M scene of 1980 in Interior. Leather. Bar. A series about the porn scene should be right up his alley. He also once walked around Paris with a dick strapped to his nose, which isn’t necessarily relevant here but still deserves mention. Is there anything more James Franco-y than playing your own twin? I’m hoping for The Wire meets Legend meets Boogie Nights meets Dicknose in Paris.