TV: My Brilliant Friend; Game of Thrones

HBO and Italian state broadcaster Rai are teaming up on My Brilliant Friend, a drama series based on the first of Elena Ferrante's four "Neapolitan Novels" (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave & Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child), Variety reported. Italian director Saverio Costanzo (Private, Hungry Hearts) will helm and help write the 32-part television series with Francesco Piccolo and Laura Paolucci. HBO is on board for the first eight episodes.

Costanzo told Variety that Ferrante's books are "very literary but also very cinematographic" and said he planned to stick as closely as possible to the storyline of the book. "The characters really leap out of the book and come alive. That makes it easier for us to transpose this cinematographically."

"Through her characters, Elena and Lila, we will witness a lifelong friendship set against the seductive social web of Naples, Italy," said HBO programming president Casey Bloys. "An exploration of the complicated intensity of female friendship, these ambitious stories will no doubt resonate with the HBO audience."

"They are characters that each one of us can inhabit no matter what country you are from," Costanzo said. "They are so well told, in such detail, that we can all identify with them and their desire to emancipate themselves.... Elena Ferrante has managed to tell in the first person things that are very intimate, risky, that we all feel but that you need plenty of courage to admit."


HBO unveiled a new teaser trailer for Game of Thrones season 7 that "shows rivals for the Iron Throne taking their seats as they prepare for war in Westeros," Entertainment Weekly reported, noting that  "laid underneath the action is an anachronistic music choice: James' track 'Sit Down,' which includes the lyrics, 'In love, in fear, in hate, in tears.' "

"Having read the books, and watched the series twice, I was very excited when Game Of Thrones asked to use 'Sit Down' for their preview," said James lead singer and lyricist Tim Booth. "I think the last two songs used were 'Heroes' and 'Wicked Game'--so we are in great company.... Now if only they would invite us to perform at Daenery's coronation..."

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