Novelist Elena Ferrante Spawns Documentary ‘Ferrante Fever’, Match Factory Takes Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

The Guardian

The epic task of bringing the enigmatic Elena Ferrante’s books to life

Naples, the setting for Ferrante’s book series

Francesco Piccolo will collaborate with the pseudonymous novelist to turn her books into an Italian TV drama – but not in person

For Francesco Piccolo, being given the job of transforming one of the most exciting works of contemporary literature into a television drama is the professional challenge of a lifetime.

But the deal to dramatise the four-book series by the pseudonymous writer known as Elena Ferrante comes with a peculiar catch. To protect the closely guarded secret of Ferrante’s true identity, the award-winning novelist and screenwriter will have to collaborate with Ferrante, who retains some creative control over the project, entirely by email.

“She will not literally write the script but she will read – I believe – everything. Every single draft, every single scene. She will go through it and by email she will express her thoughts, suggestions, advice,” said Maurizio Dell’Orso, who handles television rights for Ferrante’s publisher, Edizioni E/O. “She is not the kind of person who says: ‘I wrote it, now you go do the rest.’”

Asked whether Ferrante – whose first book in the series is called My Brilliant Friend – might widen the circle of people who know her identity in order to more freely collaborate with the writers and director who will be reworking thousands of pages of her text, the answer was decisive: no. All communication, including with Piccolo, a famous novelist in his own right, will likely pass through her editors Sandro Ferri and Sandra Ozzola, as it always has.

“It will not be very easy, probably,” said an official at Fandango, the Italian production house that is co-producing the series with Wildside, before quickly adding: “The books are so good, maybe it doesn’t matter.”

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Mellville House

February 12, 2016

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels to be adapted for TV


naplesGood news for all of those afflicted with the most contagious infection around, Ferrante Fever: Elena Ferrante’sNeapolitan Series is being adapted into an eight-part Italian TV drama.

Benedicte Page at The Booksellerreports that the Italian TV and film production companies Wildside and Fandango will co-create and co-produce the series. Further assistance will come from the mysterious author herself who, according to The Bookseller, has been “involved throughout the project.”

Domenico Procacci, the CEO of Fantango, said of the project:

It has been two years now since Fandango began working on My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and we’ve seen the potential of this project grow day by day. I’m confident that together with Wildside we can realize something great, very respectful of Ferrante’s work and our Italian culture and, at the same time, with real international appeal.

Brian Moylan at The Guardian’s TV and radio blog offered some insight into how the production would work:

Each of her four novels will be adapted into an eight-episode season, for 32 episodes in total. There is no news yet on when and where the series will air and Wildside is still looking for international co-production partners. It’s using a model that is increasingly popular in the television industry: producers and networks from different countries come together to finance and distribute a program.

Two questions remain: which estimable production companies will step up and bring the series to English and American fans, and is Ann Goldstein available for the subtitles?


Zeljka Marosevic is the managing director of Melville House UK.


Elena Ferrante’s ‘Neapolitan Novels’ Being Made Into TV Series

By Alice Thorpe | Women and Hollywoodfebbraio 10, 2016 at 11:00AM

Good news for the many admirers of Italian author Elena Ferrante’s so-called ‘Neapolitan Novels.’ The four-part book series, which has recently become a hit with U.S. readers, is set to be adapted for television in a co-production from FremantleMedia’s Wildside (Italy’s leading TV production company) and Fandango Productions.

The series follows close friends Elena and Raffaella, who grow up together during the 1950s in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. This coming-of-age tale — which ultimately spans two decades of the women’s lives — sees them struggle against the stifling atmosphere of their home lives with their working-class families and explores, among other themes, the changing place of women in society and the history of the feminist movement.

The quartet’s sprawling nature makes it the ideal candidate for adaptation to the small screen. Four eight-part series are planned — one for each installment. Ferrante herself is involved in the project’s development which, according to Fandango productions CEO Domenico Procacci, has been underway at the company for some two years already. Lorenzo Mieli, managing director of Fandango’s new production partner, commented that Wildside were “very privileged to be working closely with the superbly talented Ferrante and Fandango productions to bring this rich, gripping and highly-addictive collection of novels to life.”


Neapolitan Novels to become TV series

(ANSA) – Rome, February 10 – Elena Ferrante’s internationally acclaimed Neapolitan Novels will be adapted into a television series for the international market co-produced by Italian production companies Fandango and Wildside.
The idea is for each of the novels to be adapted into an eight-part series, for a reported 32 episodes over four seasons.
The last of the four, titled The Story of the Lost Child, was on the The New York Times list of top 10 novels of 2015.
Ferrante – a pseudonym for a writer who has never revealed her identity – is reportedly co-writing the script along with Italian author Francesco Piccolo.
The books tell about the lifelong friendship between two girls from a poor, tough Naples neighborhood where girls are not supposed to aspire to an education.
The story begins in the 1950s and evolves across six decades as one of the two heroines, named Elena, overcomes the odds, gets a university degree, becomes a writer and moves to Florence while Lila drops out of school, marries an abusive man at 16, and never leaves the old neighborhood.
Their saga is an intertwining counterpoint between their two natures, with Elena struggling to overcome her humble roots and come into her own as an intellectual in a male-dominated world while Lila carries on a battle of her own while never stepping outside the confines of the crime-ridden, corrupt and tight-knit enclave they both call home.
In spite of having apparently emancipated herself from the old neighborhood and its crooked, conniving ways, Elena can never entirely detach herself and needs Lila’s mirroring gaze and intellect to give her the vital affirmation she needs.
Ferrante’s four-part novel explores the pair’s complex relationship from childhood to old age, against the changing backdrop of postwar Italy as it evolves into the 21st century.
The series to launch in the fall will reportedly air on HBO in the United States, on Sky TV in Italy, Germany, and the UK, and on Canal+ in France.
Domenico Procacci’s Fandango owns the literary rights, and Wildside specializes in literary adaptations for the screen – also in its pipeline are screen versions of French author Emmanuel Carrère’s best-selling biography Limonov and of leading Italian novelist Niccolò Ammaniti’s Anna.


Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels Get TV Adaptation

The Hollywood Reporter revealed Wednesday that Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ TV adaptation is heading soon to Italian tubes. Wildside and Fandago Productions will adapt each of the four books — My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child — into an eight-part miniseries.

Ferrante’s book quartet follows two friends, Elena and Lila, from childhood to middle age. Readers have latched on to the Neapolitan Novels’ sense of time and place: mid-century Naples. Elena and Lila face historic developments — including the women’s rights movement, labor strikes, and the arrival of computers — that complicate their own tangled lives.

Fandango has been involved with the My Brilliant Friend TV adaptation for two years. Wildside’s involvement appears to be more recent, however. The FreemantleMedia-owned production company is currently working with HBO and others to produce The Young Pope: an eight-part miniseries starring Jude Law as a fictional pontiff, Pius XIII.

The most interesting thing about The Hollywood Reporter‘s announcement is this: “Ferrante, who publishes under a pseudonym, will be involved throughout the project.” I must ask you not to scream.

Ferrante is known for her reclusive nature. She has been more “public” in recent days, however. Last year, she gave her first in-person interview to The Paris Review, and a 1991 letter to her publisher surfaced. Still, no one really knows who she is. In fact, for all we know, she could be a burly guy named Giacomo.

That’s what makes the news of Ferrante’s involvement so exciting. Fans might finally be able to catch a glimpse of their beloved author, unmasked. Does this mean we’ll see the end of Ferrante’s anonymity? Only time will tell.

Rajasthan Patrika TV

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels Will Be Adapted for TV

You’ve just devoured the Neapolitan novels by the mysterious Italian writer Elena Ferrante, which tell the story of the beautiful, tumultuous friendship between Lenú and Lila, which begins with their childhood in Naples in the 1950s. Well, now those books are going to be a TV show. FremantleMedia’s Wildside and Fandango Productions will adapt the four novels asfour eight-episode series, one for each of the books — My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. And just in case you were worried, THR reports that Ferrante herself will be involved in the production of the series, and it will be shot in Italy. (Phew.) In fact, Fandango has been working on adaptingMy Brilliant Friend for the last two years. “I’m confident that together with Wildside we can realize something great, very respectful of Ferrante’s work and our Italian culture and, at the same time, with real international appeal,” said Domenico Procacci, CEO of Fandango. So if you haven’t started reading, treat yourself this Presidents Day weekend.


Elena Ferrante heading for the screen

Here’s some good new for those of us mourning the end of BBC’s adaptation of War and Peace. Elena Ferrante’s hugely popular Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, The Story of the Lost Child, will be made into a 32 episode television series in a co-production between Italian TV production companies Wildside and Fandango, the producers behind Gomorrah. The identity of the author remains a mystery…

The Guardian

Fantasy casting for Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels on TV

Lenù and Lila are to be played by Italians, speaking their mother tongue. But here are some suggestions for an eventual Hollywood remake…

Fans of Elena Ferrante will greet news that her Neapolitan novels are beingmade into a TV show with equal parts excitement and apprehension. Reassuringly, the people who adapted Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah for TV are involved, as is the reclusive author herself. The four books will each become a series of eight episodes, and the show will be in Italian, with Italian actors – anything else would be wildly inauthentic. While we wait, here are some English-speaking fantasy casting suggestions (which might come in handy for the inevitable Hollywood remake). To keep this as spoiler-free as possible, the below focuses only on the first book, My Brilliant Friend.

Lenù (Elena Greco)

The narrator of the book, in all likelihood modelled on Ferrante herself, is a masterful literary creation. Full of contradictions – her self-doubt and arrogance are at constant war with each other – she perfectly captures the complexities of being a young woman. The actor who plays her needs to be pretty, serious and studious, with a facility for introspection: step forward, Carey Mulligan.

‘Austere beauty’: Stacy Martin would make a fine Lila.
‘Austere beauty’: Stacy Martin would make a fine Lila. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Lila (Raffaella Cerullo)

Maestra Oliviero

The girls’ primary school teacher notices Lila’s brilliance, but when her parents take her out of school she transfers her attentions to Lenù. Olivia Colman’s motherly-but-stern-when-needed demeanour would be perfect.

‘Eminently hateable’: Dave Franco could play Marcello.
‘Eminently hateable’: Dave Franco could play Marcello. Photograph: Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Marcello Solara

For this young, wealthy mafioso you’d need someone handsome (and knows it) and eminently hateable. This would have James Franco written all over it if he were a decade younger; thankfully his younger brother Dave Franco is also an actor, so he can step in.

Stefano Carracci

The son of the terrifying Don Achille, “the ogre of fairytales”, Stefano takes over the family’s prosperous grocery store. He is serious-minded, rational and focused on his family’s wellbeing, yet there is an undercurrent of violence in the Carraccis’ history. Whiplash’s Miles Teller combines that air of solid reassurance with a hint of danger.

Penn Badgley.
‘Possibly slightly smarmy’: Penn Badgley. Photograph: Billy Farrell Agency/Rex Featu

Nino Sarratore

Curly black hair, intellectual pretensions, possibly slightly smarmy: Gossip Girl’sPenn Badgley fits the bill for Nino, son of the duplicitous poet and railroad worker Donato Sarratore.

Daily Mail

Mystery author’s hit novels spark tourism boom in Naples

Still regarded as ‘dangerous’ by many due to its links with organised crime, Naples could be set for a tourism boom – and it’s all thanks to a secret writer.

Four books written by an author, who uses the pseudonym Elena Ferrante, has put the Italian city in the spotlight.

The best-selling Neapolitan novels about female friendship are being adapted for television, with the author helping transform the books for the small screen.

Read more:

The Guardian

Ferrante fever sees ‘dangerous’ Naples turn into a tourist hotspot

Mystery author’s novels, soon to be turned into a TV series, put Italian city in the limelight

The Neapolitan series of novels by Elena Ferrante have transformed the fortunes of Naples, above.

A mysterious author who writes under a pseudonym is helping reignite interest in Italy’s “most challenging” and anarchic city, which suddenly finds itself the focus of a new wave of tourism.

From the Camorra crime syndicate to the strikes by rubbish collectors, Naples has long had a reputation for being dangerous and dirty, but ever since the Neapolitan series of four novels by Elena Ferrante was published in English last year, the port has become a major destination for American and British enthusiasts alike. And these new visitors are as keen to explore the city’s working-class streets as the more traditional attractions of historic palaces and churches.

The author’s true identity is unknown, as she writes under a pseudonym, but her novels made it on to many literary critics’ must-read lists last year, with the final one in the series winning her a place on the shortlist for Italy’s top literary honour, the Strega prize. This month it was announced that a 32-part Italian television series of Ferrante’s stories is to be made, by the producers ofGomorrah, while two other authors already established in Italy, Domenico Starnone and Maurizio de Giovanni, are being published in English in the hope of riding the wave of fascination begun by Ferrante. Her novels showcase Naples with all its flaws, and the city becomes a character in its own right.

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Oyster Mag

Feb 10, 2016 10:01AM

Elena Ferrante’s Cult Neapolitan Novels Are Coming To TV!


In the best book-related news since we found out Anne of Green Gables is getting turned into a TV show, Elena Ferrante’s lush Neapolitan novels are the latest to be heading to the small screen. This is great news for anyone with a strong case of #FerranteFever, aka all of us.

We are cautiously optimistic that they’re going to do a good job with this one. According to reports, each of Ferrante’s four books — My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child — will be adapted by Wildside and Fandango Productions into its own eight-episode season, for a total of 32 episodes. The show will be shot in Italy, so get ready to go deep into those mid-century Naples vibes.

While Elena Ferrante’s actual identity is still a big mystery, she (?) is fully involved in the adaptation process. “We’re very privileged to be working closely with the superbly talented Ferrante and Fandango Productions to bring this rich, gripping and highly addictive collection of novels to life,” said Lorenzo Mieli, managing director of Wildside.

It’s going to be a tough gig doing justice to this fantastic series of books, but since we’re officially living in the golden age of television, we have pretty high hopes. Stay tuned!

Daily Life

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels are coming to TV

Rob Moran

Those books you’ve spent the past few summers yelling at friends about? They’re now coming to a TV near you.

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels – the bestselling series following the lifelong drama between friends Lenu and Lila, penned by the enigmatic Italian author – is currently being adapted into a TV series by FremantleMedia and Italian company Wildside.

In some relief for anxious uberfans, theHollywood Reporter notes that Ferrante herself “will be involved in the series” and that it will be shot in Italy and aired over four eight-episode seasons.

Exciting news or nervous trepidation? You guys decide.

In the meantime, let the debates begin:

C21 media

Wildside to adapt Neapolitan Novels

FremantleMedia-owned Italian prodco Wildside, the firm behind forthcoming drama The Young Pope, is coproducing a TV adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels.

Wildside has partnered with Italy-based Fandango Productions to bring to life the quartet of novels – the fourth of which was recently named among the New York Times’ best 10 books of 2015.

Set in 1950s Italy, the country in which the production will be filmed, the story will unfold over four eight-part series.

The Neapolitan Novels follow the lives of Elena and Raffaella as they grow up amid turbulent times for their hometown – a deprived neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples.

Wildside MD Lorenzo Mieli said: “We’re very privileged to be working closely with the superbly talented Ferrante and Fandango productions to bring this rich, gripping and highly addictive collection of novels to life. Ferrante’s works portray a fascinating and intense insight into past times, and the stories and characters have become a literary obsession for many fans all over the world.”

FremantleMedia acquired a 62.5% majority stake in Wildside last August as part of its continuing drive to grow its scripted business. Wildside is currently producing eight-part Paulo Sorrentino-directed drama The Young Pope, a joint production with Sky, HBO, Canal+ and Haut et Court TV.


Acording to an exclusive report from Variety, Italian TV production company Wildside is partnering with Fandango Productions to co-develop and produce an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s best-selling quartet of novels, The Neapolitan Novels – the latest of which, The Story of the Lost Child, made The New York Timeslist of 10 Best Fiction Books of 2015.

The current development plan would see each of the four novels in the series – My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child – adapted as eight-episode series for a total of thirty-two episodes chronicling the multilayered struggles of the novels’ protagonists.

The books center on the lives of longtime friends Elena and Lila from childhood to adulthood in Naples as they navigate a backdrop of radical feminism, protest movements, and sometimes-violent social upheaval – including the Italian factory strikes of the 1970s. According to theHollywood Reporter, Elena Ferrante, who writes under a pseudonym, will be involved throughout the development and production of the project.

Fandango CEO Domenico Procacci stated, “It has been two years now since Fandango began working on My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and we’ve seen the potential of this project grow day by day. I’m confident that together with Wildside we can realize something great, very respectful of Ferrante’s work and our Italian culture and, at the same time, with real international appeal.”