About the Show

Production is underway in Caserta, Italy on the eight-episode series My Brilliant Friend. Based on Elena Ferrante?s bestselling book of the same name ? the first novel in a four-part series published in the U.S. by Europa Editions ? the show is being directed by Saverio Costanzo (Private, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Hungry Hearts).

The series tells the story of Elena Greco, a now-elderly woman who discovers the most important friend in her life, Raffaella ?Lila? Cerullo, seems to have disappeared with a trace. A writer, immersed in a house full of books, Greco turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their tempestuous friendship, starting from the point when Elena met Lila their first year of primary school in 1950. Set in a dangerous and fascinating Naples, their story goes on to cover more than 60 years of their lives as she tries to describe the mystery of Lila, Elena?s brilliant friend and ? in a way ? her best friend, and worst enemy.

Casting for the series took place over a period of eight months, with almost 9,000 children and 500 adults from all over Campania auditioning. The casting process included professional and non-professional actors, as well as students recruited from local schools. Newcomers Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti were chosen to portray the two lead roles of Elena and Lila as young children. As production on the series progresses, these young actors will give way to two teenage actors, Margherita Mazzucco (Elena) and Gaia Girace (Lila). In total, My Brilliant Friend is expected to include a cast of more than 150 actors and 5,000 extras.

The production?s construction team of 150 crew members has created 215,000 square feet of sets, which were built over 100 days. To recreate the neighborhood, the symbolic location of the story, they built 14 exterior apartment buildings, five interior sets of apartments, a church and a tunnel. The costume department is gathering 1,500 costumes, many of which are original creations.

My Brilliant Friend is an HBO, RAI FICTION and TIMVISION series, produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango in co-production with Umedia Production. All episodes will be directed by Saverio Costanzo. Story and screenplays by Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio Costanzo. Jennifer Schuur is the executive producer. FremantleMedia International is the international distributor.