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HBO is turning Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend into a miniseries

(Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images)

The work of elusive Italian author Elena Ferrante is coming to HBO. Ferrante, whose true identity is shielded by a pseudonym, became a phenomenon thanks to her Neapolitan Novels, which trace the complicated friendship between two women, Lenù and Lila, over the course of their lives. HBO announced today that it is co-adapting at least the beginning that saga with Rai, getting on board with a previously announced Italian-language production. Though there are designs to cover all four of the books in the series, HBO appears to be only tackling the first, My Brilliant Friend, for now.

Director Saverio Costanzo, who was behind the Italian version of In Treatment, is helming all of My Brilliant Friend’s eight episodes. He will co-write the Ferrante project with the author herself, as well as Francesco Piccolo and Laura Paolucci. Production company Wildside was also behind HBO’s recent lavish Italian-set English-language drama, The Young Pope.


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