Neapolitan novels to be adapted for television

Elena Ferrante on the small screen

Editorial Staff
March 30, 2017 - 12:29

A television adaptation of the acclaimed Neapolitan novels by Italian author Elena Ferrante is officially in the works.




According to the New York Times, Saverio Costanzo will direct the 32-part series, which will be filmed in Italy and in Italian. The Roman director of Hungry Hearts and The Solitude of Prime Numbers will also be involved in writing the screenplay, with assistance from Ferrante herself.


The involvement of the writer will go a long way towards addressing the concerns of her global fan base, whose reactions to the adaptation have been mixed, unconvinced about the show’s ability to communicate the subtleties of Ferrante’s four books.


In an interview with the New York Times, Costanzo acknowledged the difficulties inherent to the show, admitting that his biggest challenge will be how “to convey the same emotions as the books in a cinematographic way.” In addition to receiving input from Ferrante, the director is also expected to collaborate with highly regarded Italian writers Francesco Piccolo and Laura Paolucci to develop the screenplay.


The novels—My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child—follow the lives of friends Elena and Lila from their childhoods in postwar Naples to the current day.

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