After many years working in Hollywood as an actor, Maggie Gyllenhaal is stepping behind the camera and making her directorial debut. The Lost Daughter is a drama based on the best-selling novel by Italian author Elena Ferrante. Set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, the film has also received a December release date for select theaters and on Netflix.
Gyllenhaal adapted the novel herself, and Netflix announced at the beginning of August that it had acquired worldwide streaming rights to the film. The platform will release The Lost Daughter on December 31, just a couple of weeks after the film comes out in selected theaters, on December 17.
Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Dagmara Dominczyk, Paul Mescal, Jack Farthing, Robyn Elwell, Ellie Blake, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Panos Koronis, Alexandros Mylonas, Alba Rohrwacher, Nikos Poursanidis, and Athena Martin.
This is not the first time that a Ferrante work has been adapted to the screen. In 2018, HBO decided to adapt the four novels in a best-selling series by the author. My Brilliant Friend has already aired two seasons, and the next two are in production. Each season has eight episodes and depicts the story of one novel in the series.
In February, Gyllenhaal praised the novel to Deadline and revealed she was excited to see it on the big screen:
“When I finished reading Elena Ferrante’s ‘The Lost Daughter’, I felt that something secret and true had been said out loud. And I was both disturbed and comforted by that. I immediately thought how much more intense the experience would be in a movie theatre, with other people around. And I set to work on this adaptation. I find that the script has attracted other people interested in exploring these secret truths about motherhood, sexuality, femininity, desire.”
The story follows Leda (Olivia Colman), a woman on a seaside vacation who becomes consumed with a young mother and daughter as she watches them on the beach. Unnerved by their compelling relationship, (and their raucous and menacing extended family), Leda is overwhelmed by her own memories of the terror, confusion, and intensity of early motherhood. An impulsive act shocks Leda into the strange and ominous world of her own mind, where she is forced to face the unconventional choices she made as a young mother and their consequences.
Besides Colman, the cast of The Lost Daughter also features Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Dagmara Dominczyk, Paul Mescal, Jack Farthing, Robyn Elwell, Ellie Blake, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Panos Koronis, Alexandros Mylonas, Alba Rohrwacher, Nikos Poursanidis, and Athena Martin.
Netflix will release The Lost Daughter on December 31 after the film comes out in selected theaters, on December 17. You can see more official images below: