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Jessica Chastain Joins Xavier Dolan’s English-Language Debut ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan’

Written by on September 11, 2014 

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With five films under his belt, Xavier Dolan is continuing his rapid output, but his next feature will mark a distinct different path for the director. After staying in Canada thus far, Dolan will shift to the U.S. (and beyond) for his next project, his English-language debut The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Announced earlier this year, the film follows a Marlon Brando/James Dean-esque movie star who befriends an 11-year-old boy as a pen pal and their writing is exposed to the public.

While casting hasn’t yet arrived for those aforementioned roles, we do have word of a major actress taking part. After loving his latest film, Mommy, Jessica Chastain has lined up a role in the project. “It dawned on me that I should ask Jessica about playing the ‘villain’ role in John F. Donovan,'” Dolan tells Bent. “There is this character of the editor-in-chief of a gossip magazine. The movie really is a satire of the business — more dramatic than humorous. And there’s this antagonistic figure that wants to ruin the lives of ever star, especially that of the lead character. And I reached out to Jessica and she read the script. She loved it, and we got along like hotcakes. That’s basically it. I can already foresee all the pleasure we’ll have working together.”

Production is set to kick off early next year in Montreal, New York, Miami, England and Eastern Europe, and we’re greatly looking forward to the results. In the meantime, one can see Dolan’s Mommy early next year (our review) when it gets a release from Roadside Attractions. Along with that film at TIFF, Dolan also takes part in Elephant Song, and the first trailer has landed today. Coming from Charles Binamé (The Rocket), he stars alongside Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss and Colm Feore in the psychological thriller taking place in the world of psychiatry. Check it out below.

Are you looking forward to this team-up?


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