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HBO’s movie The Days of Abandonment, based on Elena Ferrante’s novel, has found its male lead.
Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Apple’s Trying) will star opposite Natalie Portman and Mary-Louise Parker in the film, which centers on Portman’s character, Tess, whose world is upended when her husband abandons her.
Spall will play the husband, Oliver. Married to Tess for 15 years, he’s a doting father to their young children and a beloved college professor. He’s charming, attractive and an ideal husband.
The movie will follow Tess as she navigates the crisis in her life, confronting the norms of motherhood and female identity as she traverses the darkest reaches of her own psyche.
Spall stars with Esther Smith in Trying, whose second season is currently running on Apple TV+. His credits also include The Big Short, The Salisbury Poisonings, Just Mercy and Showtime’s Roadies. He is repped by The B-Side and UTA.
Maggie Betts (Novitiate) is adapting Days of Abandonment and will direct. She also executive produces with Portman and her MountainA partner, Sophie Mas; Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler of Maven Screen Media; former HBO Films head Len Amato of Crash & Salvage; Ferrante; Domenico Procacci of Fandango; and Maria Zuckerman. HBO Films produces in association with Medusa.
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