‘Inventing Anna’: release date, trailer and everything we know about the Shonda Rhimes Netflix series

Inventing Anna Netflix
Julia Garner in 'Inventing Anna' (Image credit: Netflix)

Shonda Rhimes is a TV institution unto herself, so it’s unsurprising that excitement is likely high for her latest show, Inventing Anna, a Netflix original. However, there is something about Inventing Anna that may surprise some people.

Rhimes has her name attached to some of the most popular TV shows of the last 10-plus years, including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Station 19 and Bridgerton, to name a few. However, Inventing Anna will actually be the first show where she is serving as the creator since Scandal debuted in 2012 (any other show since 2012 that she is associated with is because she is a producer via her Shondaland production company).

So, Inventing Anna will then be a rare treat to see one of the most successful TV producers of the 21st-century return as the creative force behind a show. Here’s what we know about the upcoming Netflix original series, Inventing Anna.

What is the plot of ‘Inventing Anna’?

The official synopsis of Inventing Anna from Netflix reads as follows: “A journalist investigates the case of Anna Delvey, the Instagram-legendary heiress who stole the hearts — and money — of New York’s social elite.”

Inventing Anna is based on the New York Magazine story by Jessica Parker titled “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People.” The limited series will take the point of view of Vivian, a journalist who is based on Parker, as she conducts interviews with the individuals who have been impacted by both Anna’s schemes and charms.

When is the ‘Inventing Anna’ release date?

Inventing Anna will be released on Netflix on Feb. 11, 2022.  We assume that all episodes will be available from launch, as per Netflix’s standard operating procedure.

Of course, that means fans of Shonda Rhimes will get both Inventing Anna and Bridgerton season 2 in 2022.

Who is in the ‘Inventing Anna’ cast?

Two-time Emmy winner, Ozark's Julia Garner, has been tapped to play Anna Delvey, who is described as “a young woman in her mid-20s with a hard-to-place European accent who takes New York by storm.” 

Joining Garner is a star-studded supporting cast. Veep's Anna Chlumsky — six-time Emmy nominee — stars as Vivian, a reporter who breaks the mysterious story. Succession actor, Arian Moayed, stars as Delvey’s defense attorney, Todd — who faces off against assistant DA Catherine McCaw (Westworld's Rebecca Henderson). Scandal’s Katie Lowes stars as ex-Vanity Fair picture researcher and Delvey’s really good friend, Rachel DeLoache Williams. 

Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox makes an appearance as celebrity coach and life trainer Kacy Duke, while The Bold Type's Alexis Floyd has been cast as Neff — Anna’s friend and concierge at the Manhattan hotel, 11 Howard. 

Rounding out the cast is James Cusati-Moyer, Oz’s Terry Kinney, Scandal’s Jeff Perry and Kate Burton, The Intern’s Anders Holm and The West Wing’s Anna Deavere Smith.

Inventing Anna's Julia Garner on meeting Anna Delvey

Inventing Anna Netflix

Julia Garner and Anna Chlumsky in 'Inventing Anna' (Image credit: Netflix)

In order to fully embody the Delvey character, lead actor Julia Garner met with the real Anna Delvey (Anna Sorokin) and told Town and Country that “she’s actually really sweet.”

“She was extremely charming. She’s very gentle. But then her voice gets less soft-spoken when she wants something,” she noted, likely tapping into how Delvey was able to con so many affluent and influential people.

Garner also explained that Delvey was interested in hearing the German/Russian/American accent that she’s using in the series to portray her.

“She’s like, ‘Please, let me hear it,’” she said, adding, “It got very meta.”

Garner elaborated on why she signed on for the project, noting: “People don’t necessarily have to agree with what she did, but I want to help people try to understand why she did it.” 

Is there an ‘Inventing Anna’ trailer?

The official trailer for Inventing Anna is here. The trailer cleverly boasts "This is a completely true story ... except for the parts that are totally made up," as it shows a reporter trying to piece together how Anna Delvey/Sorokin's created a New York socialite that scammed the elite out of millions. Watch the trailer below.

Netflix has also shared a behind the scenes look at the true-crime series, including insight from Shonda Rhimes, Julia Garner and other cast members.

You can also take a look at some first-look photos that Netflix has released.

Inventing Anna

Julia Garner in 'Inventing Anna' (Image credit: Netflix)

Inventing Anna Netflix

Julia Garner and Anna Chlumsky in 'Inventing Anna' (Image credit: Netflix)

Inventing Anna

Julia Garner in 'Inventing Anna' (Image credit: Netflix)

How to watch ‘Inventing Anna’

Inventing Anna is a Netflix original series, so of course, that means you will need a Netflix account to watch it. Netflix accounts start at $13.99 / £9.99 per month, though there are pricier options are available. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.