'It's just reminded me how rich Sally's books are': Normal People producers on adapting Conversations With Friends during lockdown 4 months ago

'It's just reminded me how rich Sally's books are': Normal People producers on adapting Conversations With Friends during lockdown

The producers of Normal People have opened up about adapting Sally Rooney's first novel, Conversations With Friends. 

Back in February, it was announced that the 2017 novel would be being turned into a TV show. Lenny Abrahamson is set to return to direct some episodes of the series.

Set in Dublin, the story is about two college students Frances and Bobbi, and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple, Melissa and Nick.

Her recently caught up with Lenny Abrahamson and Element Pictures' Emma Norton and Ed Guiney to talk about everything from seeing Normal People debut through the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic to the adaptation of Conversations With Friends. 

"That's been a really nice sort of sustaining activity in our isolation because we've been selecting the writers for that project and getting into the writers room, breaking that book down into its structure," Emma explained over Zoom.

"It's just sort of reminded me how rich Sally's books are, because once you start talking about Conversations With Friends with a group of people, you realise how open to interpretation her storytelling is. You get to read all these situations and everybody, depending on their own life experience, has a slightly different read on them.

"That's the really exciting thing about her work, you present these really complex and emotional interactions with people that an audience then gets to interpret them. And that's really fun at that the moment."

Rooney said in February that she was "so pleased" to be working with Lenny Abrahamson and BBC Three again for the upcoming adaptation.

"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," she said.

Conversations With Friends (12x30’) 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.

Neither a release date nor casting details have been released for Conversations With Friends yet, but hopefully we won't be waiting all that long until another incredible Rooney adaptation is released.