The next season of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend will premiere on HBO Max on Feb. 28. The series, based on Italian novelist Elena Ferrante’s bestselling, four-part bildungsroman Neapolitan Novels, first premiered on HBO in 2018 following a debut at the Venice International Film Festival.
My Brilliant Friend is named for the first book in Ferrante’s series, originally published in 2012, which follows Elena Greco and Raffaella “Lila” Cerullo from childhood into old age as they try to establish themselves in a patriarchal and repressive culture outside of Naples, Italy. Over the course of eight episodes, season three will adapt the series’ third novel Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, originally published in 2013, as its protagonists get married, have children, and their fortunes seemingly reverse.
Elena is portrayed primarily by Elisa Del Genio as an adolescent and Margherita Mazzucco as a teenager, and also by Elisabetta De Palo as a senior and Ingrid Del Genio as a young child. Ludovica Nasti is cast as a young Lila and Gaia Girace as a teenager. Alba Rohrwacher narrates the series as an adult Elena.
Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace will reprise their roles in the new season directed by Saverio Costanzo and Alba’s sister, Alice Rohrwacher.
Elena Ferrante, a pseudonym, published her first novel in 1992, which was released in the U.S. in 2006 as Troubling Love. The book, also set in Naples, saw a 1995 film adaptation as a thriller directed by Mario Martone. Her most recently novel released in English in 2020 as The Lying Life of Adults, which is also set in 1990s Naples.
The first two seasons of My Brilliant Friend are streaming now on HBO Max.