Aubrey Plaza is expanding her TV empire with an “Emily The Criminal” series.

The actress who led the 2022 Sundance breakout crime thriller will executive produce a series adaptation of John Patton Ford’s film for Legendary Television, an individual with knowledge of the project told IndieWire. She won’t however star in the new series.

“Emily The Criminal” was written and directed by John Patton Ford, who will also executive produce the series adaptation. Ford will also direct the show.

The original film followed Emily (Plaza) who tries to pay off her student debt by working as a “dummy shopper” and purchasing goods with stolen credit cards. The scheme is run by Youcef (Theo Rossi), who becomes entangled with Emily.

“Emily the Criminal” was released by Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment and earned four Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, including for Plaza’s performance and Ford’s screenplay. Plaza was also nominated for a Gotham Award for “Outstanding Lead Performance” and Ford won the DGA Award for his directorial debut.

Plaza produced the feature through her Evil Hag Productions banner. Returning producers for the series include Tyler Davidson and Drew Sykes for Low Spark Films.

Plaza recently starred in “The White Lotus” and is returning to TV with MCU series “Agatha: Coven of Chaos.” Plaza will also lead John Waters’ “Liarmouth” feature, Waters’ first film in more than a decade.

In addition to the “Emily the Criminal” series, Ford has an upcoming project called “Huntington” that will star Glen Powell and is inspired by the British classic “Kind Hearts and Coronets.” He’s also working on an untitled Netflix drama based on the true story of Union spy James Andrews during the Civil War.

Plaza previously told L’Officiel that “Emily The Criminal” was inspired by films like “The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” “Head-On,” and the Safdie Brothers’ “Good Time.”

“That movie was a reference because there’s something about the momentum of those movies that they just barrel forward,” Plaza said. “You don’t stop. You start and you’re just off. It’s already we’re at an 11. It’s not normal movies where it’s a normal day and then you get fired, and then you get broken up with, and now you got to figure out. It’s like, ‘No, she’s already had enough at the beginning.’”

She added, “Also just in terms of the character, because just to use ‘Good Time’ as an example, I don’t want to totally compare it to that movie, but it’s with male protagonists a lot of times, there’s no apologies about the moral questionability of what these guys are doing and you’re along with them for the ride.”

Plaza further explained during IndieWire’s 2022 Sundance Studio that the indie film relied on the subversion of expectations, both societal and with a moviegoing audience.

“I think people are interested in it because it’s fun to break rules,” Plaza said. “And it’s fun to watch someone break rules. It’s dangerous. There’s an underlying theme in this film about making your own rules. The system, the economy, the man, whatever you want to call it, is the villain of this film. You have someone who was punished by the system, and she has to make rules.”

The feature did not use guns for its action sequences, something that Plaza shared she was “proud” of. “Most thrillers introduce guns, like, immediately…We don’t need guns in every movie,” she said during “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” continuing, “I think it actually makes it more, kind of, anxiety-inducing, because you’re like, ‘How is she going to take these guys down without a weapon like that?’”

Ford is represented by CAA and Black Box Management. Plaza is repped by MGMT, CAA and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

Source: Indie Wire