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An epic Euro TV drama series, based on the popular “Neopolitan Novels” tetralogy penned by Italian author Elena Ferrante, is in the works.

Naples, Italy
Naples, Italy – Photo by Lalupa (CC BY 3.0)

For Euro TV fans on both sides of the pond, much of our television fare from Italy has consisted of crime dramas, mysteries, and biopics, some related to the Mafia, some not.

What’s in store for us in the (hopefully) not too distant future is an epic drama series based on the four “Neopolitan Novels” — My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child — by the acclaimed Italian author who writes under the pen name of Elena Ferrante.

The four-book saga follows the decades-long friendship between Elena and Lila, whose rich and addictive stories begin when they are young girls living in a poor neighborhood just outside Naples in the 1950s, and complete in the present day. The changes they undergo throughout the epic story embody and reflect the transformations of both Naples and Italy over half a century.

The last two books in the series are international best sellers, and the fourth novel is one of the New York Times Book Review‘s “10 Best Books of 2015.”

The tetralogy will be adapted into four eight-episode series, to be co-produced by Italian productions companies Wildside (1992, The Young Pope) and Fandango Productions (Gomorrah), which owns the rights to the novels, and with Ferrante involved in the production.

According to The Guardian, “Wildside is still looking for international co-production partners” to help finance and distribute the new series, a strategy the company took for The Young Pope, starring Jude Law, which Wildside is producing with Sky (UK), Canal+ (France), and HBO (US).

Dates, cast members, and other details are not yet available, so stay tuned for updates.


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The Neapolitan Novels: Elena Ferrante Book Series to Be Adapted for TV