The great family and financial saga of Italian playwright Stefano Massini “The Lehman Trilogy”, which is a hot ticket to Broadway in an adaptation directed by Sam Mendes, is being developed as a television series for the international market by the Italian fandango, the prominent shingle behind Elena Ferrante’s skein of “The Lying Lives of Adults” for Netflix.
fandango chief Domenico Procacci said he had acquired an option for Massini’s television rights “Lehman TrilogyWhich follows the three Lehman brothers, from their arrival in New York from Germany in 1844 to the bankruptcy in 2008 of the global financial services company they founded.
Procacci, who is known for having a keen eye on Italian intellectual property that can travel ââ having previously chosen Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels in addition to âAdultsâ and Roberto Saviano’s âGomorrahâ crowd saga ââ stated that ‘he was now developing the TV version of “Lehman Brothers” with Massini on board to oversee the adaptation of the series.
The Italian theatrical production of âLehman Brothersâ had its world premiere in 2015 at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, directed by the late great innovator of Italian theater Luca Ronconi.
It was this production that inspired Mendes to stage a condensed English version of Massini’s five-hour play adapted by Ben Power, who at the time was Deputy Artistic Director of the National Theater in London. The Mendes-directed production had several sold-out tours in London before making it to New York and elsewhere in the world.
Massini’s “Lehman Trilogy” screenplay was praised by Variety as “a class affair, a narrative that is both lavish and understated,” as critic Matt Trueman put it in his review of the 2018 National Theater production, while Varieties Marilyn Stasio reviewing the most recent Broadway production in 2021 called it a “dazzling biodrama”.
Procacci underlined that “it is very rare that a play by an Italian succeeds in obtaining this type of exposure outside Italy” and congratulated Massini for having succeeded “in telling so effectively a story that has no Italian elements, since most of it takes place in the United States â
Procacci did not reveal how Massini and the team at Fandango planned to adapt the three-act play by Lehman Brothers for television, in addition to noting that Massini had already fleshed out the material for his 5-hour play in a novel.
Rome-based Fandango, which has produced more than 100 films, has recently expanded its TV side and has several other high-end series projects in the works which they are keeping under wraps.
Filming began in October in Naples on the series “The Elongated Life of Adults” by Fandango, based on Ferrante’s most recent novel, which describes the transition from childhood to adolescence of a young woman named Giovanna in the 1990s. Neapolitan director Edoardo De Angelis (“Indivisible”) is directing and Valeria Golino (“The Morning Show”) plays a leading role. The plan is for “adults” to fall on Netflix in 2022.
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