Conversations with Friends. It’s happening.
Everyone swooned over Marianne and Connell’s doomed romance in Hulu’s Normal People, so what if I told you another Sally Rooney novel—in fact, her debut work—has also been adapted for TV? You better figure it out because Conversations With Friends, based on the 2017 novel of the same name, is headed to BBC and Hulu.
Here’s everything else we know so far.
What’s Conversations With Friends even about?
Rooney’s first book follows the conversations between two best friends and fragile lovers, Frances and Bobbi, via text, email, instant messaging, and, of course, actual face-to-face interaction. Things get murky when the pair becomes entangled with an older married couple. If you thought Normal People was gripping, you’re in for a wild ride.
“It was a decision that made itself. We will commission work from Sally Rooney for as long as she writes it,” BBC exec Piers Wenger said in February. “We think she’s such an exciting voice, in the way that she’s able to write about young people’s lives in a really direct and authentic way, is—her work speaks for itself, really.”
Why is it taking so long to come out?
With pretty much all TV production shut down due to COVID-19 (which is even caused shows like American Horror Story to go back to the drawing board), the timeline for CWF has been in flux for a while. But in February 2021, Hulu confirmed the show would arrive in 2022.
How many episodes?
BBC will eventually gift us a complete, 12-part series. The episodes will be 30 minutes in length.
Where will it air in the U.S?
On June 25, 2020, Hulu (which aired Normal People) officially announced it will also stream the Conversation With Friends adaptation. “Sally Rooney perfectly and beautifully captures the complicated dynamics of relationships in her stories,” Beatrice Springborn, Hulu’s V.P. of content, said in a statement, per People. “After bringing that to life in Normal People to an overwhelmingly positive response, we are honored to do the same with Conversations With Friends. We are excited to continue our creative partnership with Sally, Element Pictures, Lenny, and the BBC, which has been a dream collaboration.”
“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 BBC, on the screen adaptation of Sally Rooney’s incredible first novel, Conversations With Friends,” executive producer Ed Guiney added.
Are any Normal People creatives involved?
Yes! Lenny Abrahamson, the director of Normal People and Room, for which he was nominated for an Oscar, will be directing alongside Normal People writer Alice Birch, who will write multiple episodes of the series.
What about the cast?
Hulu announced some of the cast on February 17, 2021. Alison Oliver will play Frances; Sasha Lane will play Bobbi; Joe Alwyn will play Nick; and Jemima Kirke will play Melissa.