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Netflix Unveils New Italian Originals as Elena Ferrante Series Begins Shoot With Valeria Golino in Cast

Netflix is moving forward with its Elena Ferrante series adaptation, “The Lying Life of Adults,” which will start shooting in Naples in October with Neapolitan helmer Edoardo De Angelis (“Indivisible”) directing and Valeria Golino playing a prominent role.

“Lying Life of Adults” leads a slate of Netflix Italian original series projects — several of which are literary adaptations — that were announced in Rome on Thursday by Eleonora “Tinny” Andreatta in her first meeting with the press since joining the streaming giant last year as VP of Italian Original series after a long stint as head of drama at Italian public broadcaster RAI.

Golino, who kickstarted her acting career in Hollywood co-starring with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in Barry Levinson’s “Rain Man,” will soon be seen again by U.S. audiences in season 2 of Apple Original “The Morning Show.”

In “Lying Life,” Golino will play Vittoria whom Andreatta described as the “sometimes vulgar” Neapolitan aunt of the story’s young protagonist named Giovanna, to be played by a newcomer whose name is still being kept under wraps.

The Ferrante book depicts Giovanna’s transition from childhood to adolescence during the 1990s in a Naples that is actually two kindred cities that fear and loathe one another: the upper crust Naples of the high-quarters, where a mask of refinement is worn, and the Naples of its more vulgar and exciting low quarters where her intriguing aunt Vittoria lives.

“Lying Life” has very different characteristics compared to “My Brilliant Friend,” beginning with the time period, said Andreatta, who was instrumental in shepherding that HBO/RAI show when she was at the public broadcaster.

Andreatta also underlined that De Angelis, who made an international splash in 2016 with “Invisible,” a drama about Neapolitan teenage conjoined twin sisters, is putting his distinctively dreamy but grotesque stamp on the six-episode “Lying Life of Adults” which De Angelis co-wrote with Laura Paolucci and Francesco Piccolo — both scribes on “Brilliant Friend” — as well as Ferrante herself. As previously announced, the new Ferrante adaptation is being produced for Netflix by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango.

As for Andreatta’s vision, Netflix’s top Italian series exec debuted with the press pointing out that “Italy is still known around the world as the country of sun and good food, and hunky men in tank tops.” But that’s not what she wants the country’s scripted narratives to depict.

“What we want to do is narrate an Italy outside of stereotypes,” she said, noting that “we have a responsibility to understand and depict what’s different” and to “really recount who we [Italians] are and what our country is in its complexity and richness; its beauty but also the dark aspects.”

Andreatta vowed to “break cultural taboos” and to “give a voice to themes that haven’t been represented [so far] because they have been blocked out.”

In terms of total scripted content output, Andreatta said Netflix Italy will drop eight new and returning Italian originals in 2022 and 12 in 2023.

These are the new Netflix Italian Original shows in various stages that were announced:

Lidia Poët (working title) — Rising Italian star Matilda De Angelis (“The Undoing”) will play the titular character of this procedural series which reconstructs the true story of the Italian woman who in late 19th century Turin fought a legal battle to be allowed to practice as a lawyer after she was forbidden to do so by a court order. Lidia Poët thus became Italy’s first female lawyer. Matteo Rovere (“Romulus”) will co-direct with Letizia Lamartire (“Baby”). Rovere’s Groanlandia shingle is producing.

Tutto Chiede Salvezza –– A comedy drama based on a prizewinning Italian novel about a very depressed teenager named Daniele who after a black out winds up in a psychiatric treatment ward that he is forced to stay in with five other young people in a similar predicament and the bond they form. Directed by teen dramedy specialist Francesco Bruni (“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”) and starring Federico Cesari (“Skam Italia”) as Daniele. The title translates roughly as “Everything Says: ‘Save Me’.” Picomedia (“The Catholic School”) is producing.

Nemesis –– A drama that explores the “nature versus nurture” question through the story of a woman named Diana who is a successful self-made lawyer and is hired to defend a very rich Milanese entrepreneur accused of killing his wife. Dealing with this complicated case draws Diana to delve into her past and explore how much of our destiny is the result of our genes and how much is due to the world in which we grew up. The series is created by Alessandro Fabbri (“The Double Hour) Ludovica Rampoldi (“Gomorrah”) and Stefano Sardo (“1994”). No director is attached. Indigo Film (“The Great Beauty”) is producing.

Briganti –– A feminist epic set in Italy’s South during the 19th century involving a woman named Filomena who joins a group of brigands and pursues a treasure of gold ingots that had been stolen from a Sicilian bank by Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi. The show, which is inspired by real characters, is penned by the young Italian writers collective known as GRAMS who penned the Italian Netflix show “Baby” and produced by Fabula that produced “Baby.”


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