james franco cast as twins in HBO sex industry drama

Franco will star in a drama pilot offering a non-judgmental look at the 70s New York porn scene.

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Aug 7 2015, 1:56pm

James Franco is to play twin brothers in a new HBO drama pilot set in the world of 1970s porn. Franco, perhaps pop culture's ultimate multi-tasker, will also serve as a executive producer on the drama, which is the brainchild of The Wire and Treme creator David Simon.

Simon insists that the New York-set drama, which is titled The Deuce, will offer a non-judgmental look at the rise of the US porn industry following the introduction of more permissive legislation in the 70s. "We're interested in what it means when profit is the primary metric for what we call society," Simon told Variety. "In that sense, this story is intended as neither prurient nor puritan. It's about a product, and those human beings who created, sold, profited from and suffered with that product."

Franco's characters are based on real-life twin brothers who became major players in the New York porn scene during this period, which centered around Manhattan's Times Square. Former Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren will shoot the pilot this October and also serve as an executive producer on the project.

This isn't Franco's first journey into the world of 70s adult entertainment. He played Hugh Hefner in Lovelace, the 2013 biopic of iconic Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace.