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Hulu’s next big Sally Rooney project is officially on its way.
Hulu on Monday released an extended trailer for Conversations With Friends, the adaptation of the best-selling author’s 2017 debut novel. The series will premiere May 15.
The 12-episode series comes from much of the same small-screen creative team as its Rooneyverse predecessor Normal People. Director Lenny Abrahamson, who also serves as an executive producer alongside Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, Emma Norton and Andrew Lowe, again collaborated with screenwriter Alice Birch (director Leanne Welham helms five episodes).
The show follows Trinity College student Frances (played by newcomer Alison Oliver, in her first-ever screen credit) as she embarks on an affair with a married actor, but unlike Normal People, is more of a four-hander. Sasha Lane (American Honey) plays Bobbi, Frances’ best friend and roommate; they befriend a complicated married couple played by The Favourite‘s Joe Alwyn as Nick and Girls’ Jemima Kirke as Melissa. “Conversations is really a coming-of-age story,” Abrahamson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Centering on Frances, who is trying to figure herself out … it’s prepared to challenge the viewer’s own sense of what is good or right in various situations.”
“Who knows what happens between two people when they’re alone?” asks Frances in the trailer, which shows the four main characters working and studying in Dublin (viewers will recognize Trinity College from Normal People) and vacationing in Croatia as Frances and Nick pursue their affair, attempting to keep their own lives from collapsing as a result. “My marriage has survived several affairs already,” says Alwyn’s Nick. “I’ve just never been party to them.”
Normal People was a critical and cultural hit, earning four Emmy nominations and launching the careers of stars Paul Mescal (Netflix’s The Lost Daughter) and Daisy Edgar-Jones, who next stars in this summer’s adaptation of blockbuster novel Where the Crawdads Sing. Conversations follows much of the same winning formula, casting a fresh face in the lead role and leaning into the melancholic love story of Rooney’s source material. “The moods of the two shows definitely overlap in places, but Conversations is a little bit messier than Normal People,” says Abrahamson. “The relationships are messier, and there are more of them.” Adds the director: “Frances is such a particular person — sometimes glorious, sometimes deeply frustrating with a tendency to hide herself.”
The series also features a new song, “Sidelines” from Phoebe Bridgers, which debuts in the latest trailer. In further synergy of the onscreen Rooneyverse, Bridgers was a vocal fan of Normal People when it was released in the spring of 2020 and is currently dating Normal People’s Mescal.
Conversations With Friends will simultaneously debut on BBC Three.
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