Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Zola’ Director Janicza Bravo Teaming on Provocative TV Series

     August 20, 2020


I love when Jake Gyllenhaal goes unhinged. I love the intensity of Janicza Bravo‘s directorial style. And I love stories about unreliable central figures crafting obsessive webs of lies. Lucky me, then, that Bravo is writing and directing a TV show for Gyllenhaal to star in that features all of this and more! Via Deadline, the duo are teaming up on the sure-to-be-provocative A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions.

Based on a New Yorker article from Ian Parker, the series will detail the bonkers real life story of suspense novelist Dan Mallory, who wrote the smash hit The Woman in the Window under the alias A.J. Finn. Throughout his life, Mallory (whom Gyllenhaal will play in the series) duped people with a wild series of untruths, including fictional brain tumors and fake deaths in families, stringing people along a, well, trail of deceptions.


Image via HBO

And it sounds like the TV series won’t hold any punches. Here’s what Bravo had to say about the project’s creative direction:

What may have started out as my dog ate homework turns into my mother died of cancers, my brother took his life and I have a double doctorate. Our protagonist is white, male and pathological. There is a void in him and he fills it by duping people. He’s a scammer. The series examines white identity and how we as an audience participate in making room for this behavior.

Bravo will direct the series and co-write the pilot alongside Brian Savelson (Little America). Bravo, Gyllenhaal, Parker, and Savelson will all produce alongside Riva Marker (Relic), Megan Ellison (The Plot Against America), Sue Naegle (Shirley), Sammy Scher (The Sisters Brothers), and Susan Goldberg, all for production companies Annapurna and Nine Stories. I cannot wait to see this wild, incendiary story.

For more on Bravo’s awesome work, here’s the trailer for her upcoming Zola.