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First Images from Xavier Dolan’s ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan’

Written by on May 11, 2017 

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Not employing a usual production schedule, Xavier Dolan has been shooting his English language debut The Death and Life of John F. Donovan on and off since last July, due to the schedules of his massive ensemble. With things finally wrapping up the first images have now arrived for the film starring Jessica ChastainKit Harrington, Susan SarandonKathy Bates, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Michael Gambon, and Sarah Gadon.

The set photos, shot by Shayne Laverdière, will look familiar to those who have seen Dolan’s past work, and it’s exciting to see the likes of Chastain and Bates glammed up in his style. For those unaware, the drama delves into themes of identity and fame in showbiz, and focuses on a young actor reminiscing on a past pen pal relationship with his American TV idol.

“When editing, [during a lengthier shooting break] it became clear that the heart of this film would be the mother-son relationships,” Dolan tells Collider. “And you, know that realization didn’t bother me. I could spend the rest of my life talking about mothers and sons and still be making a completely different movie than the last.”

Check out some of the images above and below along with more at Collider, including additional character details.

The film takes place in the early 2000s and centers on the tribulations of John F Donovan (Harington), an American TV star in his late 20s, and his correspondence with Rupert Turner, a young actor-to-be living with his mother in England. Their lives take dramatic turns when the existence of their pen pal relationship is publicly exposed, eliciting the most ill-founded assumptions and sending Donovan in a vertical downfall. A decade later, the young actor recollects his relationship with his past idol over the course of an interview.

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The Death and Life of John F. Donovan is expected to premiere later this year.


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