Saverio Costanzo adapts Elena Ferrante for TV
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The director of Hungry Hearts will helm the series based on the bestsellers by the Italian writer, with production by Fandango and Wildside with Rai Fiction. Filming is set to start in the summer
Yesterday it was confirmed by the New York Times: Saverio Costanzo will direct the TV series based on the bestsellers by Elena Ferrante. With the international title The Neapolitan Novels, the director of Hungry Hearts [+see also:
interview: Saverio Costanzo
film profile] (who also directed the Italian version of In Treatment for television) will adapt the four books in the saga by the mysterious Italian actress (despite a few leaks, we still don’t know her true identity), who is well-loved even across the pond, for the small screen: “My Brilliant Friend”, “The Story of a New Name”, “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” and “The Story of the Lost Child”, all of which have been published and sold in over 1 million copies in Italy, and 1.2 million in the United States and Canada.
The series, which will be produced by Fandango and Wildside with foreign partners and Rai Fiction, will tell the story, across 4 seasons made up of 8 episodes each (32 episodes in all, each with a duration of 50 minutes) of two friends, Lila and Lenù, from their childhood up to their golden years, from the post-war period to the 2000s. The screenplay will be written by Francesco Piccolo (with My Mother [+see also:
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile] and Il nome del figlio [+see also:
film profile], among his latest scripts) and Laura Paolucci (Quiet Chaos [+see also:
interview: Antonello Grimaldi
interview: Domenico Procacci
film profile], Diaz – Don’t Clean Up This Blood [+see also:
interview: Daniele Vicari
film profile]), with contributions via email from the author of the books.
“The greatest challenge will be to convey the same emotions as the books on screen”, said Costanzo. Filming is set to start next summer. The series will be filmed entirely in Italy and in Italian in the Naples area. The first episodes could air on Rai as early as 2018. Meanwhile, over the last few days we’ve started holding casting sessions, led by Laura Muccino, for the two young actresses in primary schools across Naples.
(Translated from Italian)
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