Fremantle, iQIYI take My Brilliant Friend to China
Joseph O'Halloran
| 08 December 2018

Following a major deal between the global producer and distributor Fremantle and the leading Chinese video platform iQIYI, China is the latest international market to take critically-acclaimed drama, My Brilliant Friend.

The programme follows Elena Greco as the most important friend in her life seems to have disappeared without a trace. Elena a now-elderly woman immersed in a house full of books, turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their friendship. She met Raffaella Cerullo, whom she has always called Lila, in the 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, her worst enemy.

A HBO (US), Rai Fiction and TIMVISION series, My Brilliant Friend is the first of Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novels, published in the US by Europa Editions, centring on the lives of Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo, to be brought to screen. The series has recently been renewed for a second season, which will be based on Ferrante’s second book in her quadrilogy, The Story of a New Name.

My Brilliant Friend has been produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside, and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango, in collaboration with Rai Fiction, TIMVISION and HBO Entertainment, in co-production with Umedia. All the episodes are directed by Saverio Costanzo. The story and screenplays are by Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio Costanzo. Paolo Sorrentino and Jennifer Schuur are the executive producers. Fremantle is the international distributor in association with Rai Com.

“With its incredible scripts and iconic characters, My Brilliant Friend has fast become one of the standout series of the year. Since its launch on HBO and Rai, it has received huge critical acclaim from reviewers,” said Haryaty Rahman, SVP, distribution Asia, International, Fremantle. “We’re excited to be working with iQIYI, one of the biggest streaming services in the region, to bring this powerful story to China. Ferrante’s writing has captured many imaginations around the world, and with Saverio Costanzo’s adaptation already enjoying global success, we are confident the series will resonate with iQIYI’s audience.”