Natalie Portman & Maggie Betts Team Up on HBO Adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s “The Days of Abandonment”


Natalie Portman is joining forces with “Novitiate” writer-director Maggie Betts. The pair are collaborating on HBO Films’ “The Days of Abandonment,” an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novel. Deadline confirmed the news.

Currently in pre-production, “The Days of Abandonment” follows Tess (Portman), a woman who lets go of her own dreams for “a stable home life.” Her world is “thrown off its axis” when her husband abandons her. The drama is described as 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.”

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Betts penned the script and is directing.

Portman, Betts, and Ferrante are among the project’s exec producers.

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A three time Oscar nominee, Portman took home the honor in 2011 for “Black Swan.” “Lucy in the Sky” and “Avengers: Endgame” are among her more recent credits. Her upcoming slate includes Apple TV+ limited series “Lady in the Lake.” Directed by “Honey Boy” helmer Alma Har’el, the project is set in ’60s Baltimore and centers on an unsolved murder. Lupita Nyong’o co-stars.

Betts previously helmed Margaret Qualley-starrer “Novitiate” and “The Carrier,” a doc about an HIV-positive pregnant woman trying to prevent her child from being born with the virus. She’s signed on to direct a dramatic thriller about pro-choice champion Rebecca Gomperts, and Amazon’s “The Burial,” the story of a business deal gone bust.

“My Brilliant Friend,” HBO’s drama based on Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, will return for a third season with a premiere date TBA. Adaptations of Ferrante’s “The Lost Daughter” and “The Lying Life of Adults” are also in the works. Maggie Gyllenhaal is directing the former.

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