EXCLUSIVE: Annapurna has teamed with Janicza Bravo, the writer and director behind the forthcoming Zola, to write and direct a series adaptation of Ian Parker’s New Yorker article A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions, which has Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star.
Published in February 2019, Parker’s story explores the complex life of former book editor Dan Mallory, whose debut psychological thriller, The Woman in the Window, written under the pseudonym A.J. Finn, was number one on the New York Times Bestseller list, the first debut novel to do so in twelve years.
The series will follow an unreliable narrator who nurses brain tumors he does not have and mourns family members who are not dead while preying on people’s sympathy to get away with almost anything. Bravo will co-write the pilot with Brian Savelson.
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Bravo serves as an executive producer alongside Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker for Nine Stories as well as Annapurna’s Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, Sammy Scher, and Susan Goldberg. Savelson and Parker are co-executive producers.
“What may have started out as my dog ate homework turns into my mother died of cancers, my brother took his life and I have a double doctorate,” said Bravo. “Our protagonist is white, male and pathological. There is a void in him and he fills it by duping people. He’s a scammer. The series examines white identity and how we as an audience participate in making room for this behavior. Getting to partner with Annapurna and Nine Stories is a gift and I am most thrilled for what lies ahead.”
Zola Is the second feature from Bravo following her 2017 debut indie comedy Lemon. Based on the viral Twitter thread detailing a stripper’s cross-country road trip gone wrong, Zola premiered at this year’s Sundance and will be released via A24 and Sony International. She’s also directed episodes for Atlanta, Dear White People, and FX’s Cate Blanchett-starrer Mrs. America.
Oscar nominee Gyllenhaal was most recently seen on the big screen in Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home. He’s also attached to star in Snow Blind, a thriller adaptation of the BOOM! Studios graphic novel, which was picked up by Apple Studios.
Bravo is repped by UTA, ELIA, and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark; Gyllenhaal by WME and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher; Savelson by Circle of Confusion and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP; Parker by UTA and The Gernert Company.
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