The world’s most secretive author, Elena Ferrante, kept herself busy during lockdown, returning to the story of her most famous protagonists, Lila and Elena.

As Italy stayed at home to keep coronavirus at bay, the Italian novelist got to work reviewing the TV script for the third book in her bestselling Neapolitan quartet of novels. The clock is ticking, claims Saverio Costanzo, the TV director who wrote the first draft of the script and has to communicate by email with Ferrante, who guards her true identity and writes under a pen name. “Filming will start in October and the plan is to broadcast it in October 2021, but the lockdown has held things up and time is tight,” he says. “Add to that the large number of safety rules we will have during filming, which will be difficult to follow.”

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