Updated 02:25 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 22, 2021

‘The Deuce’ HBO Pilot Show Cast: Margarita Levieva to Star in Drama Alongside James Franco & Maggie Gyllenhaal

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Margarita Levieva will soon be seen in HBO's drama pilot "The Deuce."

The 35-year-old Russian actress will co-lead the project alongside James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Deadline reported. Also starring are Lawrence Gilliard Jr. and Dominique Fishback.

"The Deuce," which hails from "The Wire" creator David Simon, tells the story of "the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed in midtown Manhattan until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market ended the bawdy turbulence," Deadline reported from HBO's official announcement.

Levieva, who starred in ABC's "Revenge," will play Abigail "Abby" Parker, an adventurous college student who gets into romance with nightclub owner Vincent Martino (Franco), who is involved with the growing sex industry of early '70s Times Square. Gyllenhaal is Eileen Merrell, a hooker in the Times Square where she is known by her street name Candy, the news outlet further reported.

Gilliard portrays Chris Alston, an NYPD patrolman in midtown Manhattan, while Fishback plays Darlene, a "young, sweet-natured" prostitute who's attempting to survive the sex trade while also working for a hotheaded and violent pimp, Deadline added.

The pilot of "The Deuce" is penned and executive produced by Simon and George Pelecanos, and directed by Michelle MacLaren of "Breaking Bad." Serving as executive producers are Nina K. Noble, Richard Price, and MacLaren, while Marc Henry Johnson is producing, Deadline listed.

According to Variety, the project will start filming this October in New York.

"We're interested in what it means when profit is the primary metric for what we call society," Simon said, as quoted by 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."

Pelecanos commented, "With 'The Deuce,' I'm pleased to continue a creative collaboration with David Simon and Nina Noble that goes back nearly 15 years, from 'The Wire' through 'Treme.' Porn, prostitution, pimps, the mob, after-hours nightlife, institutional corruption and New York in its Wild West heyday - it's a world rich in character, and a fascinating story we're eager to tell," the news outlet reported.

In June, Simon revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that they are hesitant to take on the project at first because of its pornographic elements, but curiosity got him and Pelecanos. He said that they didn't want to look down on porn while using it to sell the show, adding that its aim is to land "in such a way where it's a story about people and it's a story about markets," the news outlet noted.

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