When one thinks of films that could really benefit from being adapted to television, Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience definitely isn’t one of them. Starring adult actress Sasha Grey, the movie focused on a Manhattan call girl trying to juggle her work with a boyfriend and personal life. Now, however, we’ve learned that Starz is collaborating with Soderbergh to develop a 13-part anthology series based on his film.
Independent filmmakers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz are on board to write and direct The Girlfriend Experience for Starz, and the series will focus on “the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex. These purveyors – or GFEs (girlfriend experience) – share intimacies more common to actual romantic partners, becoming quasi-lovers and confidants who are richly paid for their time in that process.”
Soderbergh is involved as an executive producer alongside Philip Fleishman, but it’s not expected that Grey will return to work on the anthology series in any capacity, considering that each episode will revolve around a different character.
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in an official statement:
“We are all such fans of the movie that the idea of exploring this world through many different characters, voices and points of view was especially intriguing. Steven and Philip’s approach to the format is unique and not something seen on the entertainment landscape today. Working with Steven is always a thrill, and we are excited to break the mold with this project yet again.”
For his part, Soderbergh is enthused about the prospect of expanding The Girlfriend Experience into a limited series. He recently said:
“We’re in an exciting period of auteur-driven television right now. When Philip floated the idea of a Girlfriend Experience-inspired television show, I thought: ‘Let’s make it a different woman in a different city, let’s pair two independent writer-directors, one male and one female, and let them do the whole thing.’ I’ve known Lodge for 20 years and I became a fan of Amy’s when I saw her first feature last summer.”
Though I’ll admit I was skeptical about The Girlfriend Experience as a TV show when I first heard it was in the works, the fact that Soderbergh is still involved gives me hope for it. The series is definitely an odd one for Starz, but it’s nice to see that the network is taking more risks with its original programming.
We’ll keep you posted with news about the show as The Girlfriend Experience gets closer to airing, so stay tuned!