Steven Soderbergh may be most famous for his Oscar-winning films like Traffic and Erin Brockovich — or even for his less Oscar-worthy fare like Ocean's Eleven and Magic Mike — but the acclaimed filmmaker is no stranger to television, either, having created the HBO political series K Street and executive produced both Cinemax's The Knick and Amazon's Red Oaks. Now his two worlds are colliding, as he's adapting one of his own films for the small screen: 2009's The Girlfriend Experience , which will now be a half-hour drama on Starz. A new trailer for The Girlfriend Experience just dropped as the show prepares to debut its first four episodes at the Sundance Film Festival, and the song that underscores the two-minute preview might offer some clues about what to expect from this intriguing new show.
The track that can be heard pulsing throughout the trailer is "Two Weeks," the lead single from FKA twig's 2014 debut album, LP1. Although we don't get to hear many of the lyrics in the excerpt used, the song itself contains some pretty evocative — and racy — imagery:
Feel your body closing, I can rip it openSuck me up, I'm healing for the sh*t you're dealingSmoke on your skin to get those pretty eyes rollingMy thighs are apart for when you're ready to breathe in
(And those are some of the more suitable-for-work lyrics in the song.)
The illicit nature of the song shouldn't come as a surprise, considering the content of the show itself: Like the 2009 film before it, Starz's The Girlfriend Experience will focus on a high-end call girl, her interactions with wealthy Manhattanites, and her struggles to balance her chosen profession with the rest of her daily life. In Soderbergh's original film, "Chelsea" was played by real-life adult film star Sasha Grey; in this version, the character will be portrayed by Mad Max: Fury Road actress Riley Keough (who, as the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, is also Elvis' eldest grandchild).
But the presence of FKA twigs' "Two Weeks" actually signals quite a shift in tone from the source material. While the original film treats its subject matter almost mundanely — following its protagonist's day-to-day life and the worries of her clients as they fret over the financial crisis and the impending 2008 Presidential election — this iteration seems to want to mine its story for titillation, charting "Chelsea's" rise from naïve young woman to experienced call girl. Compare FKA twigs' track to the music underscoring the trailer for the film:
That percussive underscoring is more reminiscent of Birdman's and that movie's kinetic realism than the sexy, sultry tone of Starz's trailer. The somber grey palette and techno soundtrack make The Girlfriend Experience seem like a House Of Cards/Fifty Shades Of Grey mashup.
The Girlfriend Experience will begin airing weekly on Starz on Sunday, April 10, but all 13 episodes will also be available for immediate bingeing on Starz Play and Starz On Demand starting that same day. In the meantime, check out the full trailer right here: