Natalie Portman to star in film of Ferrante's Days of Abandonment

Natalie Portman to star in film of Ferrante's Days of Abandonment

Natalie Portman is to star in a film adaptation of Elena Ferrante's second novel, The Days of Abandonment (Europa Editions).

Portman, who is a Ferrante fan and picked her 2020 novel The Lying Life of Adults (Europa) for her book club, will also executive produce the film. The HBO Films adaptation will be written, directed and produced by Maggie Betts. 

The Days of Abandonment was the first book of Ferrante’s to be translated into English, by Ann Goldstein, and in September 2005 became the first book ever published by Europa Editions US. It tells the story of one woman’s descent into what she calls an “absence of sense” after being abandoned by her husband. The mass market paperback edition was published in the UK in February 2021.

The announcement follows the news that Olivia Colman will star in Maggie Gyllenhall’s film adaptation of The Lost Daughter, and that Netflix will make Ferrante’s latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, into a TV series.

Ferrante's four novels known as the Neapolitan quartet (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions between 2012 and 2015. A RAI/HBO series adapting the quartet, "My Brilliant Friend" directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018.

The author has sold 795,564 copies for £8.4m in total through Nielsen BookScan's UK TCM, with My Brilliant Friend her bestseller on 316,320 sold in paperback.