Gyllenhaal's directorial debut will also star Jessie Buckley and Peter Sarsgaard.

By Joey Nolfi
February 12, 2020 at 11:42 AM EST

The Lost Daughter has found its principal cast.

Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s feature directorial debut will premiere with an impressive roster of actors, as EW has confirmed Oscar-winning Favourite actress Olivia Colman will lead the upcoming literary adaptation‘s cast alongside Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose), Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), and Peter Sarsgaard (The Batman).

With a script Gyllenhaal adapted from Elena Ferrante‘s 2006 novel of the same name, The Lost Daughter will follow Colman’s Leda, an elegant college professor who, while on a seaside vacation, becomes obsessed with a young woman, Nina (Johnson), and her young daughter, as she watches them on the beach. Their compelling relationship forces Leda to confront the trauma surrounding her own motherhood, and she begins to unravel as the consequences of her past choices as a young mother seep into her present consciousness.

“I felt that something secret and true had been said out loud. And I was both disturbed and comforted by that,” Gyllenhaal said of the film in a press statement. “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.  And I’m thrilled to continue my collaboration with such brave and exciting actors and filmmakers.”

Gyllenhaal previously told EW her experience working on HBO’s drama series The Deuce informed her approach to helming her first big-screen project.

“I don’t know that I would actually have taken the step and be directing if it weren’t for having played Candy,” Gyllenhaal said of her character, a pornographic movie director, on the show. “The making of Candy has totally inspired me. One of the things I realized as I was playing her, there’d sometimes be scenes where Candy would be kind of tough to her actors and I never played it like that. I was always like, ‘No, you can’t be mean to your actors! Actors only do well when you love them!'”

A release date for The Lost Daughter — which Gyllenhaal produced alongside Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren through their Pie Films company — has yet to be announced.

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