Aubrey Plaza Filthy? Rumored To Star in John Waters’ First Film in 20 Years

Aubrey Plaza John Waters: Aubrey Plaza's face poorly photoshopped into an image from Female Trouble.

Aubrey Plaza John Waters feature image art by Autostraddle with a photo by Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images
Update (3/1/24): 

Drag legend and friend of John Waters, Peaches Christ, has set the record straight. Apparently, Liarmouth has not been greenlit and Aubrey Plaza is not confirmed to be starring.

Via Peaches, Waters made this statement:

“While I am thrilled and excited at the idea of Aubrey Plaza starring in my new movie ‘Liarmouth’, the announcement that the film is ready to go in Baltimore, which was printed in an article in World of Reel and then the Guardian, is pure speculation. Neither writer talked to me or anyone officially involved in developing this movie. We have no start date or green light to begin production but are working to, hopefully, make that happen.”

With a tribute at the Academy Museum and a star on the Walk of Fame, John Waters is taking a victory lap in his twilight years. It’s been more than half a century since he began bringing filth to cinema and work that used to be reviled is now in the Library of Congress. But how will these heterosexual institutions react to his work without the amber of time? We’re soon to find out, because Waters is coming out of filmmaking retirement to adapt his “feel-bad” novel Liarmouth. And Aubrey Plaza is set to star.

As reported by World of Reel, Plaza will play con artist Marsha Sprinkle, a scammer hated by children, dogs, and her own family. Plaza has been gunning for this role since the project was announced in 2022 and it’s a gift to us all that her campaign paid off. While best known by most for her turns on a sitcom and an HBO phenomenon — and, to the lesbians, as a Christmas movie heartthrob — Plaza has long been a far more interesting performer than this reputation. With turns in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, indies like Ingrid Goes West and Black Bear, and a startling performance in Emily the Criminal, it’s clear we’ve only seen the beginning of Plaza’s range. Well, not for long! Between Francis Ford Coppola’s long-awaited Megalopolis, Tricia Cooke and Ethan Coen’s upcoming Honey Don’t, and now a John Waters movie, Plaza is showing us why she’s our favorite bisexual cinephile.

This is a perfect match of director and star and I’m just so thrilled John Waters is making another movie. At a time of queer backlash and cultural puritanism, we need his voice. We need the reminder that queer cinema is meant to be unpalatable and gross and filled with a cavalcade of atrocities.

I’m so curious how Waters will push us forward so many years after he himself redefined the possibilities of on-screen queerness and taboo. I’m not expecting Multiple Maniacs or Desperate Living, but even his “Hollywood” films feel bold and unique in comparison to the current landscape.

The world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring life. Thank God we get to be a bunch of dykes and faggots alongside an artist like John Waters.

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 566 articles for us.


  1. I saw Plaza in this winter’s staging of Shanley’s “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” and she was dynamic at playing a person who was difficult to like, and yet you somehow still root for her, despite her meanness, perversion, bad decisions, whatever. I think she’ll be great in this. And the Waters + Plaza witchy queer weird filthy combo is chef’s kiss.

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