Mahershala Ali's “The Plot” Series Set to Begin Filming After SAG-AFTRA Strike

“The Plot," based on the 2021 bestselling novel of the same name, is a cat-and-mouse drama that follows struggling author Jake as he resorts to literary theft, leading to life-altering consequences. Ali stars as Jake and serves as an executive producer.

Mahershala Ali smiles at the camera next to the book "The Plot"
The series will follow how far Jake (Ali) will go to protect himself and the new life he’s built now that someone knows his secret and is threatening him.

Now that the Writers Guild of America strike has concluded, Abby Ajayi's upcoming series “The Plot,” starring Mahershala Ali, will likely begin filming soon. “The Plot,” which was won by Onyx Collective in a major bidding war last year, is based on the 2021 bestselling novel of the same name by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Its story is a cat-and-mouse drama following Jake, a struggling author seeking a career comeback. He resorts to literary theft to seize an opportunity, leading to life-altering consequences. When someone threatens to expose his secret, Jake fights to protect himself and his newfound life. Ali stars as Jake and serves as an executive producer. The series will stream on Hulu.

Abby Ajayi, known for her work on “Inventing Anna” (2022) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (2014 – 2020), is adapting the novel and acting as showrunner. Endeavor Content is the studio producing the eight-part series, with Layne Eskridge and Kristen Campo serving as executive producers.

Onyx Collective focuses on creators of color and underrepresented communities. This acquisition is notable for offering a straight-to-series order, especially for BIPOC projects. “Hollywood is still not greenlighting enough projects with multidimensional Black characters, stories that simply focus on our humanity,” said executive producer Mimi Valdés. “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.”

Tara Duncan, president of Onyx Collective and Freeform, praised the project's creative team and Ali's involvement. “I was captivated with Hanff Korelitz’s [‘The Plot’], and [Ajayi’s] distinct point of view reinvents the story in a way that spoke to me and our mission at Onyx Collective,” said Duncan. “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.”

“The Plot” is the latest adaptation of Hanff Korelitz's work, joining “The Undoing” (2020). This marks another collaboration between Endeavor Content and Hulu, following “Nine Perfect Strangers” (2021) and Amy Schumer's “Life & Beth” (2022 – ).

Eskridge expressed excitement about working on the project from a Black perspective. “We loved the idea of exploring [Hanff Korelitz’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,” she said. “[Ali] 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.”

Production details are currently undisclosed, but filming is expected to begin after the SAG-AFTRA strike reaches a conclusion.

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