Shondland/Netflix Acquires Rights to Jessica Pressler’s Story on Russian Con Artist Anna Delvey

‘The story of Anna Delvey, the Russian twentysomething who swindled New York’s glitterati into believing she was a millionaire raising money for a new “dynamic visual-arts center,” has delighted New York Magazine readers across the globe. Now it may become a TV series. Netflix and Shondaland have acquired the rights to Jessica Pressler’s story “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People,” with Shonda Rhimes herself attached to write. 

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Delvey became infamous when it was revealed she had been posing as a wealthy German heiress in New York’s high society, conning numerous people and financial institutions to fund her lavish lifestyle. She is currently being held without bond in New York’s Rikers Island prison

The New York Magazine article is one of two about Delvey that has been making the rounds among various producers and studios in recent weeks. There is also a Vanity Fair piece by Rachel DeLoache Williams that has attracted interest, with stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Margot Robbie reportedly expressing interest in the lead role. One insider close to the situation has said the process has been difficult and that Delvey has been making calls to various talent and producers regarding whom she would like to play her.

The acquisition marks Rhimes’ first project since signing her new deal with Netflix. It was announced in August that Rhimes and Shondaland would exit ABC Studios after 15 years for a multi-year deal with the streamer. However, Rhimes made it clear early on that she would remain involved with her current slate of ABC shows, which consists of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “For the People,” “Station 19,” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” Rhimes’ other ABC series, “Scandal,” ended this year after seven seasons.

Since Rhimes signed her deal, fellow mega-producer Ryan Murphy has also moved to Netflix, departing 20th Century Fox TV after more than a decade. Murphy is known for creating hit shows like “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” and “Glee.”

Pressler was repped by Gersh in the negotiations.’

Via Vulture

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