Wildside, the leading Italian television and feature film producer, has stuck a deal with the Italian Fandango Productions to co-develop and co-produce the TV adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s highly-acclaimed Neapolitan quartet of novels. Recently added to the New York Times’ ‘best 10 books of 2015′, the collection portrays the gritty lives and friendship of Elena and Lila from childhood to motherhood against the social and political backdrop of 1950’s Naples. The story will unfold over four eight-part series and be shot in Italy. Elena Ferrante is to be involved throughout the project.
Lorenzo Mieli, Managing Director, Wildside says; “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.”
Domenico Procacci, CEO, Fandango says: “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”.
The Neapolitan Novels follows the lives of Elena and Lila as they grow up amidst the turbulent backdrop of their hometown – a deprived neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. The novels depict how the women’s relationship is shaped and often distorted over time by their social status, jealousy and tension amongst other female friendships, domestic violence and the changing conditions of woman from marriage, to motherhood. Over the years, they face a grinding struggle living within an era of social upheaval, radical feminism and corruption, but despite this the two women remain inextricably bound to each other. No other relationship in their lives possesses the longevity of their friendship, and none ever will.
One of the Financial Times’ ‘Women of 2015’, Elena Ferrante published her first novel in 1991 under the pseudonym of Elena Ferrante and has since become one of the most enigmatic and successful authors of our time.
FremantleMedia acquired a 62.5% majority stake in Wildside in August 2015 as part of its drive to grow its prime-time scripted business. Wildside are currently producing the eight-part Paulo Sorrentino directed drama The Young Pope, a joint production with Sky, HBO, Canal+ and Haut et Court TV. The series is set to premiere this autumn and stars two-time Academy Award® nominee Jude Law and the Academy Award® winning Diane Keaton. The Neapolitan Novels is one of a number of international projects for the company who has also secured the rights of Emanuele Carrere’s book Limonov and Niccolò Ammaniti’s title Anna.