Natalie Portman is set to star in and executive produce an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel “The Days of Abandonment” for HBO Films.
Maggie Betts is directing, writing and executive producing the film based on Ferrante’s acclaimed novel, first published in Italian in 2002 and republished in English in 2005. Portman will play Tess, a woman who abandoned her own dreams for a stable home life and is in turn abandoned by her husband, throwing her world off its axis.
Ferrante’s “The Days of Abandonment” is described as a a visceral, no-holds-barred journey into the mind of a woman in crisis that confronts the norms of motherhood and female identity as Portman’s character traverses the darkest reaches of her own psyche.
The film is being produced in association with Medusa.
Portman and Sophie Mas are executive producing on behalf of their MountainA, which just signed a first look TV deal with Apple TV+. Portman will make her television acting debut on the series “Lady in the Lake,” an upcoming Apple Original limited series directed by Alma Har’el and co-starring Lupita Nyong’o.
Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler are also executive producing for Maven Screen Media, as are Len Amato for Crash&Salvage, Domenico Procacci for Fandango, Maria Zuckerman and Elena Ferrante.
Betts is the writer and director of the 2017 film “Novitiate” starring Melissa Leo.
Another Ferrante book, “The Lost Daughter,” is also being turned into a feature directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Dakota Johnson, Olivia Colman and Peter Sarsgaard.
Maggie Betts is represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and 42West. Natalie Portman is represented by CAA and the Law Offices of George Sheanshang. MountainA is represented by CAA and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. Elena Ferrante is represented by Edizione e/o.