Fans of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels can take solace in knowing that as Season 2 of HBO's adaptation comes to an end, My Brilliant Friend has already been renewed for Season 3, according to Deadline. It was an easy decision for HBO to bring the popular series back for more. "The fact that viewers and critics alike have continued to embrace Elena and Lila's story makes it all the more gratifying," EVP of HBO programming Francesca Orsi said in a statement to Deadline. "We cannot wait to tell the next chapter of Elena and Lila's lives and friendship."
The Italian adaptation will return for likely another eight episodes as it explores the next novel in Elena Ferrante's four-book series. Season 3 will be based on the third book, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. The novel follows Elena and Lila's friendship into adulthood as Lila leaves her husband to join the workforce and Elena becomes a college graduate with a published novel. Because there's a bit of an age jump in this novel, actor Gaia Girace will be leaving her role as Lila three episodes into Season 3, according to TVZap.
"I'm sorry to leave Lila's character, because I've been working on it for three years. I'm growing up with her and I'm sorry to leave it to someone else," Girace told TVZap. "I hope that whoever takes my place will love her at least a penny of what I love her." It's likely that Margherita Mazzucco's teenage character Elena will also be aged up with a new actor as well.
The show, which airs on HBO in America and on Rai 1 in Italy, took a long time between Seasons 1 and 2, which could be a pattern for Season 3. Season 1 aired in November 2018, and Season 2 didn't premiere until March 2020 in America. (It aired a month earlier in Italy.) By that measure, a summer 2021 premiere date may be expected, but that could be pushed further by the current state of the world. The show tapes in Italy, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. And with global travel restricted, My Brilliant Friend likely won't be able to start shooting any time soon.
However, when HBO announced pauses in production for their other shows like Succession and Barry, the network said that many writers were continuing to work remotely. Perhaps the creative team for My Brilliant Friend can get all the scripts worked out via video chat so that the actors can hit the ground running when it's safe to resume production.
According to The Guardian, My Brilliant Friend has a four-season game plan in accordance with Ferrante's four novels, so there's plenty more Elena and Lila content on the way — it just may take a bit to get to our TV screens.