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HBO, RAI line up 'My Brilliant Friend'

FremantleMedia International handles international distribution on adaptation of first of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels.

HBO and Italian broadcaster RAI are set to begin production on My Brilliant Friend this summer.

The original drama series is an eight-episode show adapted from Elena Ferrante’s book of the same name, the first of her four-part series.

The story, set in Naples, centres on Elena Greco, an elderly woman who begins to write the story of her 60-year friendship with Lila who seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Saverio Costanzo is set to direct all eight episodes from an adapted screenplay by Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio Costanzo. The series will be filmed in Italian.

Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani produce for Wildside, while Domenico Procacci produces for Fandango. Jennifer Schuur serves as executive producer for Wildside and Fandango.

“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,” Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, said.

“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.”

Antonio Campo Dall’Orto, director general of RAI added: “With My Brilliant Friend, RAI brings to TV screens the extraordinary publishing success by Elena Ferrante. This is an ambitious project that satisfies many of the public service’s objectives in the field of TV drama. It is Italian and international; it is universal but complex; it is a huge co-production with a global value.”

The series is the latest international co-production for HBO, who partnered with Sky Atlantic and Canal Plus on Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope.

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