‘My Brilliant Friend’ Heads to China on iQiyi
The series will be viewable on iQiyi in a deal struck between the popular Chinese streaming service and Fremantle. “My Brilliant Friend” is the latest Western series to be snatched up by Baidu-owned iQiyi, which has become the platform of choice for many foreign producers and distributors who have few other ways to access the Chinese market.
“Elena Ferrante’s masterpiece has been well recognized by Chinese readers for the past years,” a spokesperson for iQiyi said. “The genuineness and delicacy of the friendship between the two female characters resonates with millions” over time and across borders.
Directed by Saverio Costanzo, the highly anticipated adaptation of Ferrante’s first novel had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. It bowed in the U.S. on HBO on Nov. 18. The story follows Elena Greco as she chronicles her intimate friendship as a girl with Raffaella Cerullo.
“With its incredible scripts and iconic characters, ‘My Brilliant Friend’ has fast become one of the standout series of the year,” said Haryaty Rahman, senior vice president of distribution in Asia for 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.”
The series has been renewed for a second season. It is produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for the Italian banner Wildside and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango, in collaboration with Rai Fiction.
Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino and Jennifer Schuur executive-produce the show.