Gyllenhaal adapted the script based on the 2006 novel of the same name from best-selling author Elena Ferrante.
The film stars Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Crown), Jessie Buckley (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Dakota Johnson (A Bigger Splash, The High Note), Peter Sarsgaard (Jackie), Paul Mescal (Normal People), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man), Ed Harris (Westworld), and Dagmara Domińczyk (Succession).
The producers include Maggie Gyllenhaal; Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren for Pie Films; Charles Dorfman for Samuel Marshall Films; and Endeavor Content.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Netflix again. They have supported so much of the work I am most proud of, and this is no exception,” said Gyllenhaal.
“Netflix has consistently championed filmmakers that excite and inspire me and I’m delighted to be included in that company.”
“We are honored to be part of this special journey with Maggie, her extraordinary group of collaborators, and now our new partners at Netflix, to bring this powerfully complex story to audiences around the world,” said Endeavor Content’s Deborah McIntosh and Negeen Yazdi.
Production took place in Greece in 2020 and the film will make its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.
The deal furthers Netflix’s relationship with Gyllenhaal, following the 2018 release of The Kindergarten Teacher, in which she starred and earned rave reviews from critics.
Other distributors for the movie include: eOne (UK/Benelux/Germany), Empire (South Africa), Pathé (Switzerland), Spentzos (Greece), Sena (Iceland); Bim (Italy), Vertigo (Spain),NOS Lusomundo (Portugal); Svensk (Scandinavia); Bir (Turkey), Blitz (Ex-Yugo), Monolith (Poland), United King (Israel), Falcon (Indonesia), Green Narae (South Korea), and Salim Ramia (Middle East).
Ferrante’s book is officially described as follows: “Leda is a middle-aged divorcée devoted to her work as an English teacher and to her two children. When her daughters leave home to be with their father in Canada, Leda anticipates a period of loneliness and longing. Instead, slightly embarrassed by the sensation, she feels liberated, as if her life has become lighter, easier.
“She decides to take a holiday by the sea, in a small coastal town in southern Italy. But after a few days of calm and quiet, things begin to take a menacing turn. Leda encounters a family whose brash presence proves unsettling, at times even threatening.
“When a small, seemingly meaningless, event occurs, Leda is overwhelmed by memories of the difficult and unconventional choices she made as a mother and their consequences for herself and her family. The seemingly serene tale of a woman’s pleasant rediscovery of herself soon becomes the story of a ferocious confrontation with an unsettled past.
“Following the extraordinary success of The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter explores the conflicting emotions that tie us to our children. This candid fiction represents her most compelling and perceptive meditation on womanhood and motherhood thus far.”