Maggie Gyllenhaal’s upcoming directorial debut is an ominous portrayal of motherhood

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s upcoming directorial debut is an ominous portrayal of motherhood, reworking Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novel.

If we were going to play magnetic fridge poetry, with each of the magnets representing something that we unabashedly adore, we couldn’t have put together a sentence better than this:

Olivia Colman to star in an Elena Ferrante adaptation, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and co-starring Dakota Johnson, Paul Mescal and Jessie Buckley.

And our dreams haven’t gone unnoticed, either. In these new first-look images, we get a glimpse inside Netflix’s new thriller, The Lost Daughter,  featuring all of those wonderful people.

So, here is everything you need to know about this forthcoming film.

What is The Lost Daughter about?

The Lost Daughter was written by Ferrante in 2006 and tells the story of Leda, a professor on a summer vacation near the ocean who becomes obsessed with a young mother she spots playing with her daughter on the beach. As she becomes more entwined with the young woman, and her unnerving family, Leda begins to remember her own history of past trauma…

Sounds atmospheric and totally moody, don’t you think? Knowing Ferrante, the story will be dripping in a time and place, and knowing Gyllenhaal, it will be turned into a very sensual film.

As Gyllenhaal said in a statement: “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.”

The Lost Daughter: Dakota Johnson to star alongside Olivia Colman in Elena Ferrante adaptation.

Who is in the cast of The Lost Daughter?

Colman will play Leda, while Johnson will play the young mother on the beach. Completing the cast are Buckley and Gyllenhaal’s husband Peter Sarsgaard, who will play members of Johnson’s character’s extended family, with Mescal playing Will.

When did The Lost Daughter first get announced?

Ferrante first announced The Lost Daughter back in 2018 in her column for The Guardian. In it, Ferrante penned an open letter to Gyllenhaal, giving her the creative license to do what she likes with her story, no matter how much she would wish for her to stay faithful to the source material.

“It’s important for me – for her, for all women – that her work be hers and turn out well,” Ferrante wrote. “Mine already exists, with its strengths and defects. In the great warehouse of the arts, set up mainly by men, women have for a relatively short time been seeking the means and opportunities to give a form of their own to what they have learned from life. So I don’t want to say: you have to stay inside the cage that I constructed.” 

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What is the release date for The Lost Daughter?

The Lost Daughter is set to be released in the US in December 2021 but we will update you about its UK release when we hear more.

Images: Getty

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