Maggie Gyllenhaal Joins James Franco in HBO’s ‘The Deuce’

“The Wire” creator David Simon is writing and producing drama pilot

Maggie Gyllenhaal is joining James Franco to star in HBO pilot “The Deuce,” from “The Wire” creator David Simon.

The drama will chronicle the legalization and rise of the porn industry in 1970s New York City, and looks into the rough-and-tumble world of midtown Manhattan until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence.

Franco will play twins in the project, while Gyllenhaal will portray Eileen Merrell, a Times Square hooker known as “Candy,” who’s drawn to the birth of the new industry. Gyllenhaal will also serve as a producer on the project.

Simon wrote the pilot with George Pelecanos, while Richard Price is working on subsequent scripts. Franco, Michelle MacLaren and Nina K. Noble all join the writers in serving as executive producers.

Marc Henry Johnson, who was instrumental in documenting the story, will also produce.

Filming begins in October in New York.