'The Name of the Rose': Release date, plot, cast, trailer, news and everything else about the Umberto Eco screen adaptation

'The Name of the Rose': Release date, plot, cast, trailer, news and everything else about the Umberto Eco screen adaptation

Italian novelist Umberto Eco took the literary world by storm when he first published the novel, 'The Name of the Rose'. Although it was his debut novel when it came out in 1980, the historical murder mystery has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and soon became one of the best-selling books ever published. Set in a medieval Italian monastery, the book has been appreciated worldwide, receiving many awards such as the Strega Prize in 1981 and Prix Medicis Étrangère in 1982. It was adapted into a film in 1986 by director Jean-Jacques Annaud, and starred Sean Connery as William of Baskerville and Christian Slater as Adso.

This year, 'The Name of the Rose' made its debut to the small screen, in an eight-episode long series that premiered on Rai 1 on March 4, 2019. The show is about to reach the US audience pretty soon, and here's everything you need to know about the latest adaptation of Eco's most defining novel:


Based on Eco's best-selling novel the show takes us back to the early 14th century. (IMDb)


Release date

The show has already aired on Italy's national public service broadcaster, Rai 1, but it is about to reach the U.S. pretty soon. As Sundance has acquired the series, US audience will be able to watch the show starting on May 1, at 11 p.m. ET/PT.



The series follows a highly intense medieval mystery drama. (IMDb)



The plot remains similar to Eco's original work. Set in Italy in 1327, 'The Name of the Rose' follows the Franciscan monk William of Baskerville and his novice Adso von Melk as they arrive at a secluded monastery in the Alps. There they become witnesses to a series of mysterious murders. While Baskerville and Melk investigate and search for the killer, they are hunted themselves by the merciless inquisitor Bernard Gui, who prosecutes those who criticize the pope.



The limited series is being led by an all-star cast which includes Emmy Award winning actor John Turturro, who plays William of Baskerville. Turturro has appeared in over 60 films in his career, and is known to have often worked with the Coen Brothers ('The Big Lebowski' (1998), 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' (2000) ), Adam Sandler and Spike Lee. The Italian actor will be joined by Michael Emerson who is best known for his role as serial killer William Hinks on 'The Practice'. He has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and been nominated for three others, as well as receiving other awards and nominations. 

The limited series has an all-star cast with some of Italy's most well-known actors. (IMDb)


While Emerson will play the Abbot, he will be joined by Rupert Everett as Bernard Gui, Damian Hardung as Adso of Melk, Greta Scarano as Margherita / Anna, and Richard Sammel as Malachia of Hildesheim




Giacomo is a filmmaker of many feathers as he is also a renowned novelist. (IMDb)


We can keep our expectations pretty high from the mini-series as it comes from one of Italy's most versatile filmmakers, Giacomo Battiato. He began his career in 1973 on Italian RAI TV and ten years later started in cinema with 'I paladini'. A cultural organizer, Giacomo is also a renowned author whose book 'Fuori dal cielo' (1996), won the Prize Domenico Rea. 

News: A Story of International Potential


After 'My Brilliant Friend' and 'I Medici', 'The Name of the Rose' is the third Italian series to be internationally acclaimed. (IMDb)


In order to adapt Eco's best-selling novel to screen, it seems that almost the whole of Europe came together. The Italian TV production companies Palomar, best known for the 'Montalbano' series, and 11 Marzo, whose credits include 'These Days', have teamed with Germany’s Tele Munchen Group (TMG) and Italian public broadcaster RAI Fiction to adapt the novel for TV. The series is also the third Italian-originated, internationally-focused TV project for the broadcaster following 'I Medici' and 'My Brilliant Friend'.



The trailer is almost a faithful reflection of Giacomo's tendency to play with pale lighting. It does not give away much of the story but certainly sets the mood of a hovering mystery which lurks behind every nook and corner of a 14th century monastery. 

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In spite of their conservative nature, the medieval times were fascinating and these few TV shows have time and again awakened our intrigue about the early times. ITV's 'Cadfael' which is based on 'The Cadfael Chronicles' novels written by Ellis Peters follow the crimes set in the 12th century in England, mainly at the Benedictine Abbey in Shrewsbury where Brother Cadfael lives.


On the other hand, 'Medici: Masters of Florence' follows the the Medici dynasty set in 15th-century Florence as we are introduced to Florence at the time of Giovanni, and to his relationship with his sons Cosimo and Lorenzo. You can also check out shows like 'Merlin', 'War and Peace', and 'Wolf Hall' before 'The Name of the Rose' premieres in May. 

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