Ferrante to HBO

9781609450786_26fdcThe TV adaptation of  the international best seller My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, announced earlier, now has a US outlet. HBO will broadcast it in Italian with English subtitles. It is being produced by the Italian studio that created The Young Pope starring Jude Law, running now on HBO to the bafflement of many reviewers.

There are plans to adapt each of the four novels in Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, across a total of 32 episodes. “So far HBO has committed only to the first eight-episode season,” the NYT reports, “but the network said it has the rights to the subsequent seasons based on the other books.”

Variety adds that Saverio Costanzo (Private, Hungry Hearts) will direct and Jennifer Schuur (Big Love, Hannibal) will serve as executive producer.

Costanzo told Variety that although the novels are very literary, ‘The characters really leap out of the book and come alive … That makes it easier for us to transpose this cinematographically.”

Shooting will begin this summer in Naples (where the books are set) with plans for a 2018 air date.

For those that have resisted Ferrante’s pull, Entertainment Weekly provided a summary to the books back in 2014, saying they are “an intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends Lila and Elena, Bright and passionate girls from a raucous neighborhood in world-class Naples. Ferrante writes with such aggression and unnerving psychological insight about the messy complexity of female friendship that the real world can drop away when you’re reading her.”

The NYT notes that Ferrante, whose true identity has been the subject of much speculation, will be involved in the production. Presumably, she will handle that the way she does interviews, via email.

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