San Francisco is becoming an increasingly popular setting for modern-day TV shows and miniseries, including HBO's Looking and Hulu's forthcoming Chance. Now, the city's wild past will provide the setting for yet another new show, co-starring, co-written and directed by Mel Gibson.
Entitled The Barbary Coast, the new series will star Kate Hudson and Kurt Russell, with Gibson in a smaller role. Though Deadline says the plot will commence at the height of the 1849 Gold Rush, it's not clear which historical figures the three actors will portray.
The Barbary Coast is based on Herbert Asbury's 1933 book of the same name, which follows "the influx of gold-seekers and the horde of gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians, and other felonious parasites who battened upon them." (Asbury also wrote Gangs of New York, which was turned into a 2002 film by Martin Scorsese.)
The series has yet to be sold to a network, so it's not clear whether any of it will actually be filmed in San Francisco. However, it's likely to be largely set in what is now the Financial District, Chinatown and North Beach, emphasizing many of their historic characters (and watering holes). We'll keep you posted on whether The Barbary Coast decides to shoot on the actual remnants of the Barbary Coast; in the meantime, history buffs might want to brush up on their lore by reading our brief history of the Barbary Coast, or taking a "Crooks Tour" of the neighborhood's nefarious past.
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