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Inventing Anna - What We Know So Far

The shocking, twisty true crime tale of fraudulent heiress Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin) gripped the world — or at least New York City — in the summer of 2018. The story of the Russian-born German aspiring socialite who threw so much money around downtown Manhattan between 2013 and 2017 that people didn't really ask where it was coming from until she had already ripped them off was first told in a riveting New York Magazine article by journalist Jessica Pressler. The rights were quickly snapped up by Shonda Rhimes' production company Shondaland, and Rhimes has turned the story into a limited series for Netflix called "Inventing Anna."

If it feels like it's been a long time since the show was put into development, it has been — Delvey was tried, sentenced, incarcerated, released, and arrested again in the years since the show went into development (like just about everything else, "Inventing Anna" was postponed by the pandemic). But America's fascination with stories about grifters has not waned, and with Rhimes writing and producing, this one feels bound to be a hit. You saw those "Bridgerton" numbers, right?

Here's what we know so far about "Inventing Anna," including its release date, cast, and plot.

What is the release date for Inventing Anna?

"Inventing Anna" is coming to Netflix sometime in 2022, according to Entertainment Tonight. As mentioned, the limited series has taken a long time to get to the screen. It was announced as part of Shondaland's initial development slate for Netflix in 2018 and began filming in the fall of 2019, according to Production List.

The series will consist of nine hour-long episodes. According to Netflix, Shonda Rhimes, the powerful creator of "Grey's Anatomy," is the writer and showrunner of "Inventing Anna." Rhimes' producing partner Betsy Beers is also an executive producer, as is David Frankel, who directs the first two episodes. Frankel is best known for directing "The Devil Wears Prada." Jessica Pressler, the journalist who wrote the magazine article on which "Inventing Anna" is based, is a producer as well, according to Deadline. Pressler also wrote the article that was adapted into the movie "Hustlers."

Who's in the cast of Inventing Anna?

You need a great actor to play Anna Delvey, and "Inventing Anna" has one. Emmy-winning "Ozark" star Julia Garner is playing the glamorous grifter: "A young woman in her mid-20s with a hard to place European accent who takes New York by storm," is how Netflix describes her. "Either a brilliant businesswoman or a scammer extraordinaire, Anna in turn inspires loyalty, compassion, contempt, and obsession — all while leaving behind an emotional body count." Garner even met with Delvey at Rikers Island while researching the role.

"Veep" star Anna Chlumsky is playing Vivian, the (fictional) journalist pursuing Anna's story. But as she gets closer to the story, she gets closer to Anna too, which is a problem. The supporting cast has some familiar faces too. Arian Moayed, best known for playing Stewy on "Succession," is Todd, Anna's lawyer. "Given the high-profile nature of the case and his need to earn the respect of his legal peers, Todd needs Anna just as much as she needs him," Netflix says. "Workaholics" star Anders Holm plays Jack, Vivian's supportive husband who grows concerned as she gets closer to Anna. 

"Nurse Jackie" actress Anna Deavere Smith, "Scandal" vet Jeff Perry, and "Billions" actor Terry Kinney play Maud, Lou, and Barry, respectively. They're experienced, older journalists at Vivian's magazine who advise her. "Scandal" star Katie Lowes and "The Bold Type" star Alexis Floyd play Rachel and Neff, young New York scenesters who get caught up in Anna's tangled web. "Orange Is the New Black" star Laverne Cox is also part of the cast as Kacy Duke, a personal trainer and life coach who gets pulled into Anna's orbit but is too mature to get caught in it.

What's the plot of Inventing Anna?

"Is Anna New York's biggest con woman or is she simply the new portrait of the American dream?" Netflix's official synopsis asks. As Vivian tries to answer that question by spending time with Delvey while the accused grifter awaits trial, the reporter and her subject form a darkly funny "love-hate bond." The series will dig deep into Anna Delvey as a character, to try to figure out who she is as a person.   

It sounds like "Inventing Anna" will adapt some of Jessica Pressler's article, in which Delvey commits an increasingly ambitious and reckless series of frauds to try to get funding for her "arts club," but the journalist character will be directly inserted into the story in a way she wasn't in the article. Vivian was created seemingly to make "Inventing Anna" more like a Shondaland show, which always focuses on the personal as well as the professional life of its main characters. But the show will definitely dramatize some of the most infamous moments of Delvey's story, like the time she took Vanity Fair employee Rachel and hotel concierge Neff to Morocco and stuck Rachel with the $62,000 hotel bill. 

It remains to be seen if the show will address Anna Sorokin's current plight -– she's been detained by ICE for the past seven months and counting, for overstaying her visa. She's being held in a county jail in New York as her attorney appeals her deportation order, according to the Daily Mail