Between broadcast, cable, and streaming, television is in the midst of what many would consider a golden age of quality scripted programming. With the small-screen having rapidly become the place to be this decade, it’s no surprise that more and more A-list film stars have found themselves migrating to TV. The latest names to add to that list are Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, and Kate Hudson, who are set to star in an upcoming period crime drama series entitled The Barbary Coast.
Partially inspired by Herbert Asbury’s 1933 non-fiction book “The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld”, The Barbary Coast TV series takes place during the California Gold Rush of 1849, a boom period which naturally drew in tons of unscrupulous people looking to gain power and influence in the region by any illegal means necessary. A different Asbury work served as the foundation of Martin Scorsese’s 2002 film Gangs of New York, illustrating that Hollywood can indeed do justice to the author’s material if it’s put in the right hands.
The hands in this case belong to Gibson, who (according to The Wrap) is set to co-write and direct Barbary Coast as well play a recurring on-screen role. One assumes series producers Entertainment One must be confident that the masses have moved passed Gibson’s public meltdown from the mid-2000s, although the jury is still out on whether the actor will ever be able to fully recapture his once revered status in pop culture. While Gibson has indeed appeared in a few films since the controversy, none have quite achieved the level of success he once enjoyed. As a director, Barbary Coast – along with the not quite finished Hacksaw Ridge – represent Gibson’s first projects since 2005’s Apocalypto, ending a decade-plus hiatus from filmmaking.
As for Russell and Hudson, the father/step-daughter team will serve as co-leads for Barbary Coast, although details as to what characters they will portray have yet to be released. In fact, not much at all has been confirmed outside of the basic premise, leaving it currently up in the air as to which side of the law Russell and Hudson will find themselves on, presuming they’ll even both be on the same side. As is usual for big names, Gibson, Russell, and Hudson are all slated to executive produce the series as well, alongside Kate’s brother Oliver.
A TV network or streaming platform has yet to attach themselves to Barbary Coast, although with this kind of star power involved, it’s hard to imagine it not being picked up eventually. Especially since this would mark Russell’s first regular TV role since the 70s, and the first ever for either Gibson or Hudson. If done well, there’s no reason to think that whoever scoops up Barbary Coast won’t themselves end up striking gold.
The Barbary Coast is in development and has no current premiere date.
Source: The Wrap