HBO has released the first trailer of its series based on Italian writer Elena Ferrante‘s bestseller My Brilliant Friend. The eight-episode series is being premiered at the ongoing Venice Film Festival, and will be broadcast on the network in November.
The book is the first in Ferrante’s acclaimed Neapolitan Novel quartet, which has been translated into English by Ann Goldstein. Published in 2012, My Brilliant Friend traces the friendship between Elena and Lila, who are born in a working-class neighbourhood in Naples. While Elena manages to complete her education, the smarter Lila is pulled out of school.
The series, which is in the Neapolitan dialect in keeping with the source material, has been written and directed by Saverio Costanzo. The project is a co-production between HBO and Italian broadcaster RAI, and is HBO’s first foreign-language TV series venture.
In an interview, Costanzo said that he hadn’t met the famously reclusive author, who writes under a pseudonym. “I don’t know who she is and I don’t want to know … she is, in my opinion, a very good scriptwriter,” Costanzo said during a media interaction in July. “I’ve been mailing to the publisher. The publisher would send it to her and then back to me.”
Troubling Love, Ferrante’s first novel from 2002, was made into a film by Mario Martone in 1995. In 2005, Ferrante’s second novel, The Days of Abandonment, was adapted for the screen under the same title.