In 2009, Steven Soderbergh directed porn actress-turned-Hollywood actress Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experience. The film followed a girl named Chelsea who lives a secret life as a high-end call girl offering “the girlfriend experience” at a few thousand dollars a pop. Soderbergh took this provocative tale and transformed it into an equally provocative anthology series for Starz, and we have our first look via this first Girlfriend Experience trailer.
The premise is slightly different, though the name remains the same. Riley Keough, one of “the brides” in Mad Max: Fury Road, replaces Grey as a girl named Christine Reade who goes by the name Chelsea when she’s working. She’s introduced to this world through a law school classmate and, naturally, finds it difficult balancing this line of work with her daytime aspirations.
The trailer features a scoop of Secret Diary of a Call Girl with some helping handfuls of Fifty Shades of Grey, and you can watch it below:
Here’s the official plot description from Starz:
The Girlfriend Experience follows Christine Reade, a second year student at Chicago-Burnham Law School and a new intern at the prestigious firm of Kirkland & Allen. Working hard to establish herself at the firm, her focus quickly shifts when a classmate introduces her to the world of transactional relationships. Known as GFEs, they are women who provide “The Girlfriend Experience”—emotional and sexual relationships at a very high price. Juggling two very different lives, Christine quickly finds herself drawn into the GFE world, attracted to the rush of control and intimacy.
The 13-episode series was co-created, written, and directed by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. Philip Fleishman, Lodge Kerrigan, Amy Seimetz, Gary Marcus, and Jeff Cuban act as executive producers alongside Soderbergh. Joining Keough for the ride are Mary Lynn Rajskub, Paul Sparks, and Kate Lyn Sheil.
No release has currently been set, but the network states it will premiere in 2016.