Natalie Portman stars in the HBO movie The Days of Abandonment

‘Novitiate’ filmmaker Maggie Betts will write and direct the adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s bestseller.


Oscar winner Natalie Portman becomes Executive Produce and Star in The days of abandonment for HBO Films, which is currently in pre-production of the project.

Maggie Betts (Novitiate) writes and directs the adaptation of Elena Ferrante‘s bestselling novel and she will produce the film as an executive producer in addition to the author.

The days of abandonment follow Tess (Portman), a woman who has given up her own dreams of stable living at home, only to throw her world off the beaten track when her husband in turn abandons her. According to HBO, the film will be “a visceral, unconstrained journey into the mind of a woman in crisis who faces the norms of motherhood and feminine identity as Tess traverses the darkest realms of her own psyche”.

Portman will also produce executive productions on the side Sophie Mas over their MountainA banner, and they are joined as EPs by Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler by Maven Screen Media, Len Amato from Crash & Salvage, Domenico Procacci for fandango and Maria Zuckerman. HBO Films is producing the film in collaboration with Medusa and the project is already in pre-production.


Image via Sony Pictures Classics

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The days of the task will serve as a reunion between Betts and Maven Screen Media, who produced novitiate. This film (pictured above) starred Margaret Qualley As a young woman who begins to question her beliefs while training to be a nun, earning Betts the highest directing award at Sundance. Maven is dedicated to eliminating the gender imbalance in film by focusing on narratives told through the female lens.

Portman is also dedicated to telling female stories at MountainA, which is behind Apple’s upcoming limited edition series Lady in the lake. Portman will make her TV debut on the high profile series that brings her together with her Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

The Days of Abandonment was previously turned into an acclaimed 2005 Italian film by the director Roberto Faenzawhile Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her directorial debut with an upcoming adaptation of Ferrante’s book from 2008 The prodigal daughter the star Olivia Colman. Ferrante’s novel My brilliant friend was converted to an HBO series in 2018 produced by Procaccis Fandango and a series based on Ferrante’s latest novel, The adult life of lies, is currently under development at Netflix.

READ MORE: Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o star in Apple TV + ‘Lady in the Lake’ series

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About the author

Jeff Sneider
(1622 articles published)

Jeff Sneider is a Senior Film Reporter at Collider, where he publishes film and television news and curates the Up-and-Comer of the Month column. He also hosts the podcast “The Sneider Cut” and the award-winning series “For Your Consideration” with Scott Mantz and Perri Nemiroff. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jeff began his career at Ain’t It Cool News before moving to Los Angeles to write for Variety and later for TheWrap and Mashable. Jeff was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Tracking Board and has contributed to the MTV Movies Blog, Hollywood Life Magazine, Washington Square News, and the Colorado Springs Independent. His Oscar selection appeared on the LA Times Envelope site, and he agrees with screenwriter William Goldman, who famously said of Hollywood, “Nobody knows.” Jeff is from Needham, Massachusetts and has never had a salad. He can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Cameo, and Blogspot by searching his Nom de Plume @TheInSneider.

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