LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Albert and Allen Hughes are revisiting the settings and themes of their 1999 documentary “American Pimp” with “Gentlemen of Leisure,” a drama series project for HBO.
The project, a brainchild of the directing duo, explores the world’s oldest profession through the eyes of a 35-year-old legendary pimp in Oakland, Calif., who is contemplating leaving his unscrupulous occupation behind.
“It’s about a guy who wants to get out but keeps getting sucked back in by the allure of the game and by extraneous circumstances that have to do with his family,” said Evan Reilly, a “Rescue Me” producer who will write the script.
“Gentlemen of Leisure” will explore the generational change in the pimping world with the thirtysomethings who live by honor codes and creeds being pushed aside by aggressive, violent younger pimps who are coming “with their guns blazing,” mixing prostitution with drugs and thievery,” Allen Hughes said.
“These are some of the same themes from ‘The Godfather’ but in the world of pimping,” he said.
Allen Hughes said the idea for the show came after several of their friends suggested they should make “American Pimp” into a drama series for HBO.
The two were resistant at first until they realized that there haven’t been shows about that world. “This is the last island that has not been reached in television or film,” Allen Hughes said.
He approached music mogul Jimmy Iovine, who had been looking to an urban mob drama set in the world of hip-hop, and he came on board. The brothers are set to direct the potential pilot as well as executive produce with Reilly and Iovine and Polly Anthony, another music biz veteran.
The Hughes are looking to push the envelope with “Gentlemen of Leisure.”
“We haven’t done a movie in eight years (“From Hell”), and we’re really interested in trying do something new,” Allen Hughes said. “You’re not going to see a bunch of colorful, goofy ‘70’s pimps. This is a film noir-style drama based in rich characters that will explore the human conditions across the board. It is an urban crime drama.”