Actor-turned-director Carl Franklin last gave us the 2003 Denzel Washington pic Out of Time, and though he's lately been linked to the Halle Berry-Billy Bob Thornton reunion known as Tulia, his next film will be actually be The Maintenance Man, which Variety says will begin shooting later this year. Based on the novel by Michael Baisden, it will tell the story of a Julliard grad who becomes a gigolo after realizing there's more money in prostitution than in music (who knew?). Eventually he falls in love with a woman I assume isn't one of his clients and realizes he needs to stop leading a double-life he lies to her about. The film will presumably be different from American Gigolo, Loverboy and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, in that it will be "urban-themed". Apparently Screen Gems is hot for these "urban-themed" films and is currently working on a black-cast remake of The Big Chill and First Sunday, starring Ice Cube. Too bad Ladies Man already covered the black gigolo department for us.

Baisden's novel was previously adapted into a direct-to-video movie featuring Billy Dee Williams, which doesn't seem to have been very popular. Franklin's version will probably be better, but it still sounds like pretty lame material for the man who gave us Devil in a Blue Dress and One False Move. Unless he somehow involves Washington (who is unfortunately too old for the lead) and takes the main character's conscience struggle seriously and doesn't have a lot of comedic sequences involving married women's husbands coming home, I don't see the film being much better than the first movie version. A script for Franklin's The Maintenance Man has been written by Baisden and Ralph Farquhar (Krush Groove).