mel gibson

Mel Gibson‘s first directorial effort in almost a decade, Hacksaw Ridge, comes out later this year. The WWII drama will likely have an awards-friendly release date, but until we find out when exactly we’ll see Gibson’s newest film, at least we already know what he might direct next. The actor is working on an adaptation of Herbert Asbury‘s The Barbary Coast, which is set to star Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson.

Learn more about the Mel Gibson television project below.

Deadline reports Gibson will co-write and direct The Barbary Coast, and the actor will also have a supporting role in the series. Also joining Gibson, Russell, and Hudson in the cast is Oliver Hudson. Russell is executive-producing the series, which is being shopped around to networks by The Mark Gordon Company.

Speaking with Deadline, Mark Gordon has this to say about the ambitious television project:

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.

The Barbary Coast is a sprawling tale about the birth of San Francisco, so the decision to adapt Asbury’s (The Gangs of New York) novel for TV makes more sense than a film adaptation. The story begins with the Gold Rush in 1849, which brought plenty of thieves, gamblers, corrupt politicians, prostitutes, and more to the Barbary Coast, a red light-district in San Francisco, during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

We’ll see Russell and Hudson co-star in Peter Berg’s upcoming film, Deepwater HorizonThe Barbary Coast will make for Russell and Gibson’s second collaboration to date, as well. The two starred in Robert Towne’s Tequila Sunrise, a pretty good movie with two stellar movie star performances from Gibson and Russell. The actors had outstanding chemistry in that 1988 crime film, so another project starring the both of them is an exciting prospect.

Here’s a part of the book’s synopsis:

The history of the Barbary Coast properly begins with the gold rush to California in 1849. If the precious yellow metal hadn’t been discovered … the development of San Francisco’s underworld in all likelihood would have been indistinguishable from that of any other large American city. Instead, owing almost entirely to the influx of gold-seekers and the horde of gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians, and other felonious parasites who battened upon them, there arose a unique criminal district that for almost seventy years was the scene of more viciousness and depravity, but which at the same time possessed more glamour, than any other area of vice and iniquity on the American continent. The Barbary Coast is Herbert Asbury’s classic chronicle of the birth of San Francisco—a violent explosion from which the infant city emerged full-grown and raging wild. From all over the world practitioners of every vice stampeded for the blood and money of the gold fields.

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