Albert and Allen Hughes revisit 'Pimp'

HBO drama 'Gentlemen' reexamines 'American Pimp'

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.

Set in Oakland, Calif., "Leisure," which will be written by "Rescue Me" co-executive producer Evan Reilly, explores the world of prostitution through the eyes of a legendary pimp contemplating retirement.

"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," Reilly said.

"Leisure" will explore the generational conflict of old-school pimps living by honor codes and creeds who are being pushed aside by violent upstarts who are coming "with their guns blazing," mixing prostitution with drugs and thievery, Allen Hughes said.

"These are some of the themes from 'The Godfather' but in the world of pimping," he said.

The brothers are set to direct the potential pilot as well as exec produce with Reilly and Interscope's Jimmy Iovine and Polly Anthony.

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 subculture.

"This is the last island that has not been reached in television or film," Allen Hughes said.

He approached Iovine, who had been looking to an urban mob drama set in the world of hip-hop, and he and Anthony came on board.

"I was captivated by it," Anthony said.

Like other Interscope-produced projects, "Leisure" will have a strong music component, she said.

The Hughes, who most recently shepherded the USA Network series "Touching Evil," are looking to push the envelope with "Leisure."

"We haven't done a movie in eight years, 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 urban drama based in rich characters that will explore the human conditions across the board."

The Hughes brothers and Reilly are repped by WMA.