Olivia Colman to Star in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Directorial Debut ‘The Lost Daughter’

Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley and Peter Sarsgaard will also star in film being presented to buyers at European Film Market

Olivia Colman Maggie Gyllenhaal
Photo credit: Getty Images

Olivia Colman is set to star in the directorial debut from Maggie Gyllenhaal called “The Lost Daughter,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley and Peter Sarsgaard also star in the film that is being presented to buyers in Berlin at the European Film Market. Endeavor Content will handle worldwide sales on the film.

Gyllenhaal wrote the script based on a novel by Elena Ferrante from 2006. The film tells the story of a divorced, middle-aged mother and English professor named Leda (Colman) who becomes consumed by Nina (Johnson) and her young daughter, as she watches them on the beach. Unnerved by their compelling relationship, and their raucous and menacing extended family, she becomes overwhelmed by her own memories of the terror, confusion and intensity of early motherhood. Forced to consider the unconventional choices she made as a young mother and the consequences they had for her family, she begins to unravel. Lost in ways she can’t explain, she finds herself caught in the strange and ominous world of her own mind.

Gyllenhall will also produce “The Lost Daughter” with Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren via their banner Pie Films. Charlie Dorfman will also produce. Endeavor Content is financing along with Dorfman via his Samuel Marshall Productions.

“When I finished reading Elena Ferrante’s ‘The Lost Daughter,’ I felt that something secret and true had been said out loud. And I was both disturbed and comforted by that. I immediately thought how much more intense the experience would be in a movie theatre, with other people around,” Gyllenhaal said in a statement. “And I set to work on this adaptation. I find that the script has attracted other people interested in exploring these secret truths about motherhood, sexuality, femininity, desire.  And I’m thrilled to continue my collaboration with such brave and exciting actors and filmmakers.”

The Israeli production company Pie Films produced the foreign language and English language versions of the drama “The Kindergarten Teacher,” of which Gyllenhaal starred in the English language film in 2018. Gyllenhaal also recently joined the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s film based on the life of Elvis Presley as Elvis’s mother Gladys.

Colman, the “Fleabag” and “The Crown” star and an Oscar winner for “The Favourite,” most recently starred in “The Father” alongside Anthony Hopkins, which premiered at Sundance last month.

Johnson made a cameo in “The Nowhere Inn” which also premiered at Sundance and starred in “The Friend” and will also be seen in Nisha Ganatra’s upcoming film “Covers.”

The Irish singer and actress Buckley had a breakout role in “Wild Rose” this year, but also appeared recently in “Dolittle” and “Ironbark,” which premiered at Sundance and will be released by Lionsgate.

Sarsgaard, who is Gyllenhaal’s husband, will next be seen in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.”