How HBO Is Bringing The Beloved My Brilliant Friend Series To Life

Photo: Eduardo Castaldo/HBO.
HBO's next book adaptation will take you on a Neapolitan journey.
The new trailer for My Brilliant Friend has arrived, giving fans a sneak peek at how the cable network would bring author Elena Ferrante's story of two friends — and rivals — to life.
As previously promised by the show's director Saverio Costanzo, the eight-episode series will stick to the Neapolitan dialect that the elusive author intended for her characters.
Though author Ferrante is a mysterious figure (Costanzo told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that he had never even met the pseudonym-using literary figure) her "Neapolitan Novels," of which there are four, have become international bestsellers.
The first book in the series, My Brilliant Friend, follows childhood friends Elena and Lila, who grew up in a rough, organized crime-addled neighborhood in Naples. The girls push one another to succeed at school, though ultimately their paths diverge when only one is able to continue her education.
The trailer for the television series seems to capture some key moments of the novel, including one scene in which Lila (played here by Ludovica Nasti) drops a doll belonging to Elena (Elisa Del Genio) down a basement shoot. Elena, when goaded by her friend, does the same to Lila's doll.
"What you do, I do," says Elena in the trailer, suggesting a friendship built on competition.
In order for the series to find the perfect Lila and Elena, HBO reportedly auditioned over 9,000 young girls for the part.
HBO has a long history of creating excellent book-to-TV adaptations. Its version of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects was met with much critical acclaim, while Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies adaptation was so popular it earned a second season, surpassing the events of the book. Fortunately, should the My Brilliant Friend series be as wildly popular as the books it is based on, there is ample amount of source material to pull from for more.
According to The New York Times, more than eight episodes worth of Ferrante's story could be coming to television. The production companies behind My Brilliant Friend reportedly hope to make four separate series — one for each of the author's novels.
My Brilliant Friend hits HBO this November. Watch the trailer below:
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