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Neapolitan Novels By Legendary Anonymous Author Elena Ferrante Are Heading to TV

The first season is expected to premiere on HBO in the fall of 2018.
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Rumors have been swirling about a potential adaptation of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels for the past year, and now it's finally official. All four of the books in the series: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child, are headed to the small screen.

The New York Times reports that Italian director Saverio Costanzo has signed on to direct the 32-part series, which, like the books, will center around the lifelong friendship of Elena and Lila, two women who grew up in Naples just after World War II.

Costanzo will write the show along with Italian screenwriters Francesco Piccolo and Laura Paolucci. Ferrante herself will contribute to the script via e-mail, likely in an attempt to protect her legendary anonymity.

Ferrante's involvement will hopefully assuage any fears diehard fans of the series have about the television show, which will dedicate eight 50-minute episodes to each title. Costanzo is aware of the concerns involving adaptations, and said he hopes "to convey the same emotions as the books in a cinematographic way."

"We are thrilled to partner with Wildside, RAI and Fandango to bring the powerful, epic storytelling of Elena Ferrante and her Neapolitan Novels to life," HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. "Through her characters, Elena and Lila, we will witness a lifelong friendship set against the seductive social web of Naples, Italy. An exploration of the complicated intensity of female friendship, these ambitious stories will no doubt resonate with the HBO audience.”

The show will reportedly be filmed in Italy in Italian, and the first season is expected to premiere in the fall of 2018, giving us just enough time to reread the series a time or two.

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Caroline Hallemann
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