Mel Gibson’s return to mainline acting may be trucking along at a glacial pace, but with roles in low-key thriller Blood Father and Hacksaw Ridge already in the can, the once-shunned Aussie actor is turning his attention to television.
That’s according to Deadline, with a report revealing today that Gibson has inked a deal to direct and star in an adaptation of The Barbary Coast, Herbert Asbury’s novel that chronicles the formative years of San Francisco. On board to join Gibson in the period piece are Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson, with the next port of call for Gibson involving finding a network to pick up the rights.
In light of Russell and Hudon’s casting, producer Mark Gordon noted that “most people don’t know the scandalous history behind San Francisco, and The Barbary Coast offers a rich portrayal of a period when success was often attained through illicit and brutal means. I’m excited that Kurt and Kate are working together alongside Mel, whose astute direction will bring this devious time in our history to life.”
Tracing the city’s roots back to the American Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, Asbury’s book charts the “violent explosion from which the infant city emerged full-grown and raging wild. 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.”
Given that no network has picked up Mel Gibson’s spin on The Barbary Coast, there’s no word on how many episodes the writer-director is planning, but expect to learn more as the project is shopped around.