If you’ve read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, which were originally published in Italian, you’ll know they’re extraordinary; the quartet (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) details the lifelong friendship between passionate, brilliant Lila and devoted, observant Lenù, born into poverty in 1950s Naples.

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HBO is adapting the series for television, which is no surprise considering how well received the books have been. To keep the novels as accurate as possible, the film is entirely in Italian. Not only critically acclaimed, they’ve also stirred a huge literary mystery, since Ferrante is a pseudonym for an author that some curious fans have tried, without success, to identify.

According to Deadline, the casting process took eight months. Italian actresses Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti play the two best friends as children, and Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace play them as teenagers.

My Brilliant Friend will come to the small screen in November.

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