Spanning two continents, two coasts and four epochs, Gold Diggers is a social satire and tale of magical realism. It follows Neil Narayan, a floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs who is authentic, funny and smart. He just doesn’t share the same drive as everyone around him. His perfect older sister is headed to Duke. His parents’ expectations for him are just as high. He tries to want this version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal.
But Anita has a secret: she and her mother Anjali have been brewing an ancient alchemical potion from stolen gold that harnesses the ambition of the jewelry’s original owner. Anjali’s own mother in Bombay didn’t waste the precious potion on her daughter, favoring her sons instead. Anita, on the other hand, just needs a little boost to get into Harvard. But when Neil–who needs a whole lot more–joins in the plot, events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart.
Ten years later, Neil is an oft-stoned Berkeley history grad student studying the California gold rush. His high school cohort has migrated to Silicon Valley, where he reunites with Anita and resurrects their old habit of gold theft–only now, the stakes are higher. Anita’s mother is in trouble, and only gold can save her. Anita and Neil must pull off one last heist.
A search for potential showrunners and co-writers is currently underway.
The adaptation will come under Kaling’s overall production deal with Warner Bros Television. Howard Klein of 3 Arts will also executive produce alongside The Office alum, whose Never Have I Ever is going into its second season for Netflix. Sathian and Kaling International’s Jessica Kumai Scott will serve as co-executive producers.
Gold Diggers sold to Penguin Press after a seven-way auction and will publish on April 6, 2021. UTA brokered the deal for the adaptation.
Sathian, who was raised in Georgia by South Indian immigrant parents, is a 2019 graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as a reporter in Mumbai and San Francisco, with nonfiction bylines for the New Yorker and the New York Times. She is repped by UTA, attorneys Morris Yorn and Susan Golomb at Writers House.
Kaling is represented by CAA, 3 Arts and attorneys Ziffren Brittenham LLP.