HBO Films has announced that Golden Globe and Emmy winner Mary-Louise Parker has officially signed on for a leading role opposite Oscar winner Natalie Portman in their upcoming film adaptation of The Days of Abandonment, based on Italian author Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novel of the same name. Parker is set to portray the role of a Mysterious Woman, described as a mesmerizing but elusive woman that Portman’s Tess starts encountering everywhere she goes, which causes Tess to question her sanity.
Parker is best known for her acclaimed performances in popular TV shows such as NBC’s political drama The West Wing and Showtime’s dark comedy-drama Weeds. This marks her latest collaboration with HBO, after starring in 2003’s limited series Angels in America, where she earned her first Golden Globe and Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries.
First published in 2002, The Days of Abandonment 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. The film will center around Natalie Portman’s Tess, a woman who abandoned her own dreams for a stable home life. Her world gets suddenly thrown off its axis when her husband abandons her.
The film adaptation will be written and directed by Maggie Betts, with the project still in the pre-production stages. The project also hails from Maven Screen Media, who previously worked with Betts’ feature directorial debut Novitiate. Executive producers are Betts, Portman, Ferrante, MountainA’s Sophia Mas, Maven Screen Media’s Celine Rattray & Trudie Styler, Len Amato for Crash&Salvage, Fandango’s Domenico Procacci, and Maria Zuckerman.
Portman recently wrapped up production for Marvel Studios’ highly-anticipated Thor: Love and Thunder, where she will reprise her role as Jane Foster and is expected to take on the mantle of The Mighty Thor. She will also next be seen in Apple TV+’s limited series adaptation of Lady in the Lake with fellow Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.