The Barbary Coast

april 27, 2016

In what will be his first TV credit since 1981's Tickled Pink, starring Jacki Weaver and Max Gillies, Mel Gibson will direct, co-write and star in The Barbary Coast for the Mark Gordon Company.

Kate Hudson and her foster dad, Kurt Russell, the latter of whom starred with Gibson in 1988's Tequila Sunrise, are also on board.

mel gibson, kurt russel, kate hudson, barbary coast

As first reported by Deadline, the series will be "inspired by" Herbert Asbury's book The Barbary Coast, about the birth of San Francisco. Asbury also wrote the book on which Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York was based. 

The Gold Rush in 1849 saw a mass migration of fortune-seekers to San Francisco, and The Barbary Coast will take place in the "unique criminal district" that arose there and lasted seventy years, in what sounds like a west-coast, nineteenth century version of Boardwalk Empire.

It's also something of a family affair, with Russell and Hudson (seen together later this year in Peter Berg's Deepwater Horizon) executive producing alongside Hudson's brother Oliver, as well as Gibson and longtime producing partner Bruce Davey.

Wyatt Russell, son to Kurt, half-brother to Kate and now an actor in his own right (22 Jump Street, Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!!) will also act as an EP, alongside Rick Nicita, Russell and Gibson's manager.

“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,” said Mark Gordon. 

“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 series hasn't been shopped to networks, and it's unclear whether The Barbary Coast will be a limited-run series, or who will be joining Gibson in the writers room.

eOne, which has a deal with the Mark Gordon Company, is handling international distribution.