Netflix to adapt Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults

The streaming giant’s announcement precedes the English-language publication of the acclaimed author’s latest work

Netflix is to adapt the Elena Ferrante novel The Lying Life of Adults as a TV series in collaboration with Italian production house Fandango.

The streaming giant has picked up the rights to the book, which was published in Italy last November. The English translation was due for global release in June, but will now be released in September due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows the adaptation of the author’s four Neapolitan novels which were turned into the series My Brilliant Friend.

Set in the 1990s, The Lying Life of Adults tells the story of a young girl from an affluent background whose search for her aunt leads her to the industrial, working class side of Naples familiar to Ferrante readers.

Although details on the release date and cast are yet to be released, Netflix has released a short trailer featuring text from the opening of the novel.

In a statement, Felipe Tewes, Director of Local Language Original Series at Netflix, said: “We are incredibly honoured to be entrusted to develop a series based on The Lying Life of Adults. Elena Ferrante books have inspired and captivated audiences in Italy and around the world, and we are thrilled to bring her latest endeavour to the screens of our global audience. We are also excited to continue our partnership with Fandango, and invest in more unique Made In Italy stories that we believe will resonate in Italy and around the world”.

Fandango were previously involved with the production of My Brilliant Friend, a co-production between HBO, the Italian national broadcaster RAI and Italian VOD platform TIMvision which has been broadcast on Sky Atlantic in the UK and was recently renewed for a third series.

Ferrante has famously maintained her anonymity since the publication of her first novel in 1992. In 2016, an investigative journalist, Claudio Gatti, claimed that Rome-based translator Anita Raja was Ferrante, in a controversial “unmasking”. In 2017, a study at the University of Padua concluded that Domenico Starnone, Raja’s husband, was the actual author. Both Starnone and Raja have denied writing the works, which have sold over 10 million copies and been translated into numerous languages.

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