Maggie Gyllenhaal will star in The Deuce alongside James Franco in a new HBO porn drama from The Wire creator David Simon.

The 37-year-old actress, last seen in the BBC miniseries The Honourable Woman, will play a prostitute named Eileen Merrell - also known as Candy - who is drawn into the world of porn movies.

The series is set in early 1970s New York, a very seedy place at that time, and centres on the rise of the porn industry and how it was impacted by the rise of HIV and the cocaine epidemic.

James Franco previously signed on to star in a dual role as twins who are heavily involved in helping to popularise the porn industry. Both Franco and Gyllenhaal will also act as producers on the show.

The pilot episode of The Deuce will be directed by Breaking Bad's Michelle MacLaren.