Mary-Louise Parker Joins Natalie Portman in HBO’s Elena Ferrante Film ‘The Days of Abandonment’

Mary-Louise Parker has joined the cast of HBO Films production “The Days of Abandonment.” The movie, which is in pre-production, will star Natalie Portman and is based on Elena Ferrante’s 2002 novel of the same name (it was published in English in 2005).

In “The Days of Abandonment,” Portman plays Tess, who, according to the logline, is “a woman who abandoned her own dreams for a stable home life,” but when “abandoned by her husband, her world is thrown off its axis.” It promises to be “a visceral, no-holds-barred journey into the mind of a woman in crisis that confronts the norms of motherhood and female identity as Tess traverses the darkest reaches of her own psyche.”

Parker will play an unnamed character who in the casting announcement is called “Mysterious Woman — a mesmerizing but elusive woman Tess starts encountering everywhere she goes, causing Tess to question her sanity.”

Maggie Betts will write, direct and executive produce the adaptation. Betts’ feature film debut, “Novitiate,” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and starred Margaret Qualley. “Novitiate” was nominated for the festival’s Grand Jury Prize, Betts won for breakthrough director and the movie was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics.

Under their production banner, MountainA, Portman and Sophie Mas will executive produce. Maven Screen Media’ Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler will also executive produce, as will former HBO executive Len Amato of Crash&Salvage. The pseudonymous Ferrante, who also wrote the Neapolitan Novels that HBO has adapted under the title “My Brilliant Friend,” is also an executive producer, as are Domenico Procacci of Fandango and Maria Zuckerman. “The Days of Abandonment” will be produced in association with Medusa.

Mary-Louise Parker is represented by Untitled Entertainment and CAA.

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