Saverio Costanzo on Adapting Elena Ferrante’s Bestselling ‘My Brilliant Friend’

Sep 04, 2018 314

BY: NICK VIVARELLI

My Brilliant Friend,” based on the first of the four internationally bestselling “Neapolitan Novels” by Italian author Elena Ferrante, became the latest TV series Sunday to receive a prestigious world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The show, produced by Wildside and Domenico Procacci’s Fandango for HBO and Italian pubcaster RAI, which originated the project, will roll out day and date in November in about 20 territories. Director Saverio Costanzo spoke to Variety about the challenges of bringing this high-end drama to the screen.

Elena Ferrante has a screenplay credit. Can you talk to me about her input in the writing process?

I found out that, besides being a great writer, she has a distinctive sense of cinematic narrative. So she wasn’t at all defensive about her work, though of course I had no intention of changing its key aspects. The way we worked is we showed her our drafts and she sent us notes. But when we proposed a type of narrative structure which is very different from the book…much more classic…she didn’t bat an eye. I think she had already come to terms with the change. That aside, her input is everywhere. She was our compass. The book is a lot more complex than one might think as a canvas in terms of the web of relationships and narrative strands, so her guidance was crucial.

 

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SOURCE: https://variety.com/

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