The Guardian

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels set for TV adaptation

The writer’s popular books are being adapted by the producers behind Sky’s Gomorrah, with each of the four volumes becoming an eight-episode series

Usually when a television show contains a giant mystery, it’s something that is revealed in the final episode of the season. But for a forthcoming Italian series,the mystery might never be solved.

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, in a process similar to the making of The Honorable Woman by the BBC in the UK and Sundance TV in the US. Wildside is using a similar scheme for its next series, The Young Pope (starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton), which it is producing alongside Sky, France’s Canal Plus and HBO.

Fandango, the Italian production company that owns the rights to Ferrante’s novels, is the company behind which adapted Roberto Saviano’s mob dramaGomorrah for Sky. While mafia shows are much more common for the small screen, the story of a female friendship, especially one as intimately rendered as the one central to Ferrante’s novels, is a bit of an oddity – although a very welcome one. Considering the commercial and critical success of the four books that are the source material, this will be a closely watched and much-anticipated project, no matter where it ends up.