Abby Ajayi to adapt from best-selling novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz
√ Ali’s Know Wonder, Layne Eskridge’s POV Entertainment & Kristen Campo will executive produce
After a competitive bidding war across multiple streaming platforms, Disney’s Onyx Collective has ordered the limited series “The Plot” from Endeavor Content. The eight-episode series will stream on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in all other territories.
The series is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Korelitz’s book “You Should Have Known,” was also adapted into HBO’s “The Undoing” in 2020, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
“The Plot” stars and is executive produced by Oscar, Emmy, BAFTA and NAACP Image Award-winning actor and producer Mahershala Ali (“Swan Song,” “Green Book,” “Moonlight”). Ali will produce along with executive producers Mimi Valdés and Amatus Karim Ali through their Know Wonder production company. Know Wonder recently produced the critically acclaimed feature film “Swan Song” and the Emmy-winning documentary “We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest.”
Abby Ajayi (“Riches,” “Inventing Anna,” “How to Get Away with Murder”) adapts Korelitz’s novel as executive producer and showrunner.
Global content film and TV studio Endeavor Content will produce the series along with Layne Eskridge’s POV and Kristen Campo. Both Eskridge and Campo played a key part in putting the series together. “The Plot” is the first project taken to market under Eskridge’s (“Manhunt”) producing deal with Endeavor Content. Campo (“Truth Be Told,” “The Killing”) recently renewed her deal with the studio. “The Plot” marks Endeavor Content’s continued relationship with Hulu after the studio produced “Nine Perfect Strangers,” the platform’s most-watched original series premiere, and Amy Schumer’s upcoming series “Life & Beth.”
“The Plot” is a gripping cat and mouse story. Struggling author Jake (Ali) is primed to take advantage of any opportunity that might help revive his career. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself, Jake commits an act of literary theft that changes his life irrevocably. Now, someone knows his secret and is threatening him … and we will see just how far Jake will go to protect himself and the life he’s built.
“I was captivated with Hanff Korelitz’s book, ‘The Plot,’ and Abby’s distinct point of view reinvents the story in a way that spoke to me and our mission at Onyx Collective. There are so many interesting angles and nuances, that having the creative genius that is Mahershala Ali at the center of this mystery, is just a dream,” stated Tara Duncan, president of Freeform and Onyx Collective. “Kristen and Layne have done a phenomenal job bringing this team together, and I could not be more proud to work alongside them and Endeavor Content to bring this incredible series to our global audience.”
Valdés said, “Hollywood is still not greenlighting enough projects with multidimensional Black characters, stories that simply focus on our humanity. The rarity of a straight-to-series order, especially for BIPOC projects, is not lost on us. We are beyond humbled to work with such an amazing team of collaborators to bring this incredible book to life.”
Eskridge said, “When Kristen Campo sent me ‘The Plot,’ I devoured it! I’ve been dying to work with Abby Ajayi, and we loved the idea of exploring Jean’s book from the perspective of a Black man, so that we could really debate the themes of authorship, inspiration and who has the right to tell what stories. Mahershala was our dream for the role, and when he and the Know Wonder team signed on, it confirmed that we were building something next level.”
Ajayi said, “I’m thrilled to be adapting Jean’s brilliantly compelling and thrilling novel, which hooked me from its opening pages. From the start, I knew that the peerless Mahershala Ali would be the perfect Jake. I’m excited by the nuance, the humanity and the complexity he’ll bring to the role. Going on this journey with Layne, Kristen and the teams at Know Wonder and Endeavor Content has been a dream. The icing on the cake is finding our home with Tara Duncan at Onyx.”
Campo said, “When I first read ‘The Plot,’ I was immediately drawn in by Jean’s ability to balance propulsive storytelling and deep character work, and saw the possibility of a fantastic screen adaptation for a global audience.”