Normal People: Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel to be adapted for BBC and Hulu series

Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel Normal People will soon be made into a TV show. 

On Thursday, Hulu announced it had ordered a 12-episode series based on the book, with each episode set to be thirty minutes. 

The show of the same name, produced in association with Element Pictures and BBC Three, will portray the complicated relationship between characters Marianne and Connell, two high school classmates who later attend university together. 

Wealthy outsider Marianne will be played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, best known for her recurring role in the revival of Cold Feet. 

Popular but introverted Connell will be portrayed by actor Paul Mescal.

The first six episodes are set to be directed by Lenny Abrahamson, with the rest directed by Hettie McDonald.

“In Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, I feel I have found two young actors who can vividly capture Marianne and Connell and bring alive the profound and beautiful relationship at the centre of the story,” Abrahamson said. “It’s also lovely for me to be shooting in Ireland again and telling an Irish story after shooting abroad.”

Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson has previously directed award-winning films such as Frank and Room

Speaking about the new series, which she helped adapt, Rooney said: “As a longtime admirer of Lenny Abrahamson’s work, it’s a special privilege for me to be working alongside him on the adaptation of Normal People. I couldn’t be happier with the cast and team we’ve put together, and I’m very excited to watch them bringing new life to the story on screen.”

Rooney’s novels – Conversations with Friends and Normal People – have been huge successes, receiving critical acclaim and ranking high on bestseller lists. 

Normal People, which came out in 2018 and which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, follows the lives of two Irish teenagers and spans several years. Marianne is an eccentric, intelligent girl with no friends and a traumatic family life. Connell, however, is in with the popular crowd and has a close relationship with his mother, who is Marianne’s cleaner. 

Despite their differences, the two teenagers fall for each other, with the novel taking readers along their emotional, and at times tragic, journey. 

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Normal People will be filmed in Dublin and premiere in 2020. 


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