Any good drama begins with a Vanity Fair feature.
The latest exposé to get the Hollywood treatment is one that was rooted in Hollywood to begin with: Journalist Evgenia Peretz, Moneyball producer Rachel Horovitz and Jennifer Wachtell are adapting Peretz’s dive into the “Operation Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal for television, per Deadline.
Published on the Vanity Fair website Wednesday morning and set to run in the September issue of the magazine, Peretz’s article “To Cheat And Lie In L.A.” looks at the bribery and cheating scandal from the angle of the non-celebrity families who were caught in the criminal web. Peretz examines the complex power-play between privileged families and elite private high schools that led them to believe they were acting in their children’s best interests by breaking the law.
The Operation Varsity Blues scandal broke in March 2019 after it was revealed that a network of wealthy L.A. parents paid more than $25 million between 2011 and 2018 to bribe college officials, coaches and entrance exam proctors in exchange for their children gaining admission to elite universities.
There was a time earlier this year when one could not spend more than 15 minutes on the Internet without reading something related to the admissions hysteria—an update on the story, scathing tweets aimed at the prominent industry figures involved in the scandal (Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, lest we forget), a meme, whatever—so it’s no surprise that the novelty of rich parents being criminally indicted for abusing their power has become fodder for, presumably, prestige television.
The forthcoming project isn’t Peretz’s first rodeo, whose screenwriting credits include Juliet, Naked and Our Idiot Brother, and isn’t the only adaptation of the scandal in the works—Annapurna Television optioned the rights to Melissa Korn and Jen Levitz’s nonfiction account of the scandal Accepted in May.
Per Deadline, the producers are currently in talks with showrunners and directors before shopping the script around at studios, so it’s only a matter of time before we see which retelling receives a release date and official cast first.