HBO and RAI have set a U.S. premiere date for the eight-episode third season of My Brilliant Friend, based on the third book in the Elena Ferrante series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. It will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on February 28 (a few weeks after its February 6 premiere in Italy). Season three “follows Lila (Gaia Gerace), who married at 16, has a young son, left her husband and comfortable life, and is now working in a factory under tough conditions. Elena, a.k.a. Lenù, (Margherita Mazzucco) meanwhile has left the Naples neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened doors to an affluent and high-brow world.”
Director Daniele Luchetti says season three will take stylistic cues from 1970s American indie cinema, with John Cassavetes serving as a strong influence. HBO released a trailer for the new season, in which you can get a first look at the teen actresses who play Lila and Lenù now playing adult iterations of their characters. Spoiler alert: Elena is the titular “those who leave” and Lila is the eponymous “those who stay.”
HBO and RAI announced in April 2020 that they were bringing back the drama for a third season. That year, the series, created by Saverio Costanzo, aired its second season, an adaptation of the second book, The Story of a New Name. In a statement at the time, HBO executive Francesca Orsi said, “The fact that viewers and critics alike have continued to embrace Elena and Lila’s story makes it all the more gratifying, and we thank the entire team led by Saverio Costanzo for their outstanding work on the second season. We cannot wait to tell the next chapter of Elena and Lila’s lives and friendship.”
This post has been updated throughout.