EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation with eight bidders, Sony Pictures Television’s TriStar has won the television rights to author Kirstin Chen’s upcoming novel Counterfeit. Chen will executive produce the series adaptation alongside Ben Smith of Captivate Entertainment and Kay Cannon and Laverne McKinnon through K&L Productions. The producers have started a search for a writer to pen the project.
In Counterfeit, as a strait-laced, rule-abiding Chinese American lawyer, Ava Wong has built the perfect life. But beneath this façade, Ava’s world is crumbling: her marriage is falling apart, her toddler’s tantrums are pushing her to the breaking point, and her expensive law degree hasn’t been used in years. Enter Winnie Fang, Ava’s enigmatic college roommate from Mainland China. Now, twenty years later, Winnie is looking to reconnect with her old friend. But the shy girl Ava once knew has been replaced with a confident woman of the world. The secret to her success? Winnie has developed an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing near-exact replicas of luxury handbags, and now she needs someone to help manage her business—someone like Ava. But when their spectacular success is threatened and Winnie vanishes, Ava is left to face the consequences and confess to their crimes.
The project falls into TriStar Television’s mission to pursue projects that feature diverse, authentic characters and champion underrepresented voices.
Kirstin Chen is the author of Bury What We Cannot Take and Soy Sauce For Beginners. The publishing rights to Counterfeit also were competitive. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, acquired them in a major deal at auction, handled by Aevitas Creative Management’s Michelle Brower. The book is slated for release on July 5, 2022.