Hulu Orders Adaption of ‘Conversations with Friends’ from Team Behind ‘Normal People’

"Conversations with Friends" will be adapted by the team behind Hulu's acclaimed "Normal People."
Normal People -- Episode 2 - Episode 102 -- Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne’s (Daisy Edgar-Jones) relationship continues in secret and they sleep together for the first time. At school, Connell makes excuses for why he didn’t see his friends at the weekend and evades questions on his mother’s job at Marianne’s house. A girl in his friendship group, Rachel (Leah McNamara), gets impatient with Connell’s lack of interest and tensions build for Connell.   Meanwhile, Marianne must find a way to explain her unplanned absences to her prying brother Alan (Frank Blake). Director Lenny Abrahamson, shown. (Photo by: Enda Bowe)
Lenny Abrahamson on the set of "Normal People"
Enda Bowe / Hulu

Hulu found considerable success with its adaption of Sally Rooney’s “Normal People.” Now, the streaming service is gearing up to adapt the author’s “Conversations With Friends” into a 12-episode drama.

The original “Conversations With Friends” novel, which was published in 2017, followed two female college students who enter a complicated sexual relationship with an older couple that leads to a convoluted pair of love triangles.

“Sally Rooney perfectly and beautifully captures the complicated dynamics of relationships in her stories. After bringing that to life in ‘Normal People’ to an overwhelmingly positive response, we are honored to do the same with ‘Conversations With Friends,” Beatrice Springborn, Hulu’s VP of content, said in a statement. “We are excited to continue our creative partnership with Sally, Element Pictures, Lenny and the BBC, which has been a dream collaboration.”

“Conversations with Friends” further expands Hulu’s slate of book-to-series adaptions, which include titles such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” The upcoming series will be directed by Lenny Abrahamson, and Alice Birch will serve as the lead writer. It will be executive produced by Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, and Emma Norton. All of the aforementioned talents previously worked on “Normal People.”

“Conversations with Friends” will also be executive produced by Rose Garnett, Tommy Bulfin, Rooney, and Abrahamson. Catherine Magee will serve as series producer.

“We loved working with Hulu on ‘Normal People’ — they are an inspiring and very talented team and all of us at Element are delighted to be partnering with them again, alongside our friends at the BBC, on the screen adaptation of Sally Rooney’s incredible first novel, ‘Conversations with Friends,’” executive producer Ed Guiney said in a statement.

IndieWire’s Ben Travers lauded “Normal People” in his grade-A review in April and referred to it as an “epic romance told with breathtaking intimacy.”

“What’s old is new again, and ‘Normal People’ excels in this regard over 12 stirring half-hour episodes. Just as the aforementioned love stories create compelling romance through specificity and ubiquity, this new one shows great compassion for its leading couple while urging them to share much more than one feeling,” Travers said in his review.

“Class divides, social constructs, gendered presumptions, and constantly shifting power dynamics are all inherent themes of Sally Rooney’s novel, and, as one of the screenwriters and executive producers, she makes sure they all feed into the series, as well. ‘Normal People’ is not only a worthy retelling of a great book; it’s a remarkable love story, both epic and intimate.”

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