Mahershala Ali has signed on to star in The Plot, an eight-episode limited series in the works at Hulu. The show will be an adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz‘s bestselling book of the same name.
The show will be a psychological thriller about a once-promising novelist-turned-professor struggling to maintain his self-respect. When he takes the opportunity to rise to fame by stealing the work of a late student, his life is changed forever. But when an anonymous message alerts him to the fact that someone knows what he’s done, what will he do to protect his secret?
Ali will also serve as executive producer alongside Mimi Valdés and Amatus Karim Ali at their production company Know Wonder. The trio also produced Ali’s Apple sci-fi film Swan Song that premiered in late December.
Valdés had recently critiqued the lack of projects with “multidimensional Black characters,” and “stories that simply focus on our humanity,” hoping that this show is a step in the right direction. “We are beyond humbled to work with such an amazing team of collaborators to bring this incredible book to life,” she added.
Abby Ajayi (Inventing Anna, How To Get Away with Murder) will serve as showrunner for the series.
She said in a statement that she’s “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 Marhershala Ali would be the perfect Jake. I’m excited by the nuance, the humanity, and the complexity he’ll bring to the role.”
This will be the second adaptation of a Korelitz novel to hit screens in the last few years, as HBO’s 2020 limited series The Undoing with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant was an adaptation of her book You Should Have Known. These kinds of mysteries are usually happily devoured by fans, so a series adaptation of The Plot seems like a safe move.
The only other project Ali currently has in the works is the much-anticipated MCU version of Blade. Filming on that film is not expected to begin until mid-2022 and the film is expected to be released in a future MCU phase, so it’s likely that we’ll see Ali in The Plot first, although the series currently doesn’t have a release date.