Elena Ferrante's 'Neapolitan Novels' to Get TV Adaptation

Courtesy of Europa Editions

The Italian saga will unfold over four eight-part series.

Italy’s leading TV production company, FremantleMedia’s Wildside, has teamed up with Fandango Productions to co-develop and co-produce a television adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s popular quartet of books The Neapolitan Novels

Portraying life in 1950s Naples through the lives of friends Elena and Lila, the books have been a literary sensation, appearing on the New York Times “best 10 books of 2015” list and drawing admirers as far-flung as James Franco. The novels depict the close relationship of the two women amid a backdrop of radical feminism, corruption, and family and social upheaval.

Ferrante, who publishes under a pseudonym, will be involved throughout the project, which will unfold over four eight-part series and will be shot in Italy.

“We’re very privileged to be working closely with the superbly talented Ferrante and Fandango Productions to bring this rich, gripping and highly addictive collection of novels to life,” said Lorenzo Mieli, managing director of Wildside. ”Ferrante’s works portray a fascinating and intense insight into past times, and the stories and characters have become a literary obsession for many fans all over the world.”

“It has been two years now since Fandango began working on My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, and we've seen the potential of this project grow day by day,” said Domenico Procacci, CEO of Fandango. “I'm confident that together with Wildside we can realize something great, very respectful of Ferrante's work and our Italian culture and, at the same time, with real international appeal."

Wildside is currently producing the eight-part Paolo Sorrentino drama The Young Pope, starring Jude Law, a joint production with Sky, HBO and Canal+. FremantleMedia acquired a 62.5 percent majority stake in the company in August last year. 

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