The bestselling novels of Italian author Elena Ferrante are set to come to life in a 32-part television series directed by Saverio Costanzo. The series, entitled “The Neapolitan Novels”, is based on the four-part book series of the same name.
Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels were published between 2012 and 2015 and follow the lives of two friends from their childhood in post-World War II Naples to present day. The series, originally written in Italian, has developed a cult following internationally after being translated into multiple languages, including English. The series’ international impact has been so significant that the elusive author, who uses Elena Ferrante as a pseudonym, was named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2016. Ferrante is expected to contribute to the screenplay via email in order to maintain the anonymity that she has preserved since publishing her first novel in 1992.
Costanzo told the New York Times that the author’s true identity is of little concern to him. The Roman director, best known for his films Private and Hungry Hearts, is more focused on the challenge of conveying “the same emotions as the books in a cinematographic way.” Costanzo is expected to begin filming in Naples this year.
Although Costanzo plans to write and film the series in Italian, it is likely to be available to an American audience as well. A spokesperson for the Italian production company Wildside, which co-produced HBO’s “The Young Pope”, confirmed that the company was in the final stages of talks with a major American producer. The series is expected to premiere in the fall of 2018.