BBC Drama has announced it is adapting Sally Rooney’s critically-acclaimed novel Conversations With Friends (available at Amazon). The lead director will be Oscar-nominated Irish film director Lenny Abrahamson and the show will be produced for BBC Three.
Conversations With Friends is Sally’s 2017 stunning debut novel. It is a sharply intelligent story set in Dublin about two college students Frances and Bobbi, and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple, Melissa and Nick.
This adaptation follows the BBC’s prior adaptation of Sally’s award-winning 2018 novel Normal People, which will premiere in the UK this spring on BBC Three and BBC One. Following her work on Normal People, Alice Birch will be returning to write a number of episodes of Conversations With Friends, with further writers to be announced.
Normal People was also directed by Lenny Abrahamson, along with Hettie McDonald, and produced by Element Pictures. It was made in partnership with Hulu.
Sally Rooney commented: “I am so pleased to be working with the team at Element, Lenny Abrahamson and the BBC to produce an adaptation of Conversations With Friends. I’m confident we’re going to find fresh and interesting ways of dramatising the novel’s dynamics, and I’m excited to watch the process take shape.”
Lenny Abrahamson added: “I love Conversations With Friends, its depth, humour and freshness, and it’s an honour to be involved in bringing it to the screen. I’m particularly happy that my connection to Sally and her work is set to continue. Making Normal People has been a singular pleasure and I’m excited to be working with the same brilliant team again on Conversations With Friends.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “We are all addicted to Sally Rooney’s writing and will plunder her literary canon as long as she is writing. And so, on the back of the taut and tangled Normal People we are delighted that Sally has entrusted us, and the wonderfully talented people at Element Pictures, with her debut novel Conversations With Friends. To top it all Lenny Abrahamson has agreed to continue his association with Sally to direct.”
Ed Guiney, Element Pictures, commented: “The team at Element have nurtured a burning ambition to bring Conversations With Friends to the screen ever since we first read it. We could not be more excited to be working once again with Sally, Lenny, Alice and our friends at the BBC on the adaptation of this utterly exceptional and enthralling novel.”
Conversations With Friends, consisting of 12 30-minute episodes, has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama and Fiona Campbell, Controller of BBC Three. It will be produced by Element Pictures (Normal People, Dublin Murders, The Favourite, Room) and executive produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Emma Norton, Lenny Abrahamson and Sally Rooney; plus Rose Garnett and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC.
Filming dates and casting will be announced by the BBC at a later date.