Always a favorite at the Cannes Film Festival, Xavier Dolan's latest project, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, has already garnered a lot of attention and buzz. The film is Dolan's big English-language debut and is oozing with star power. Kit Harington, Jessica Chastain and Kathy Bates are just a few of the names attached to Dolan's feature. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, in Dolan's own words, is the story of a child (Jacob Tremblay) who worships an actor (Kit Harington). The entire film and the fictional show within the film are all built around specific tropes of American cinema such as superheroes and villains.
With Dolan's distinct, visionary styling and the collective talent of acting powerhouses like Kit Harington and Jessica Chastain, our hopes of The Death and Life of John F. Donovan being a piece of cinematic art are high. Courtesy of Collider, here is your first look at the star-studded cast of #XavierDolan's The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.
Kit Harington As John F. Donovan
#GameOfThrones star Kit Harington plays the titular character, John F. Donovan. The film tracks the events after his death, and also his life as an actor. While alive, Donovan, the "hero" of the movie, answers fan letters sent to him by a young boy named Rupert Turner. Their connection "sets in motion the threaded plot of the film to explore numerous types of relationships."
Jessica Chastain As Moira McAllister-King
Following her success with recent films Miss Sloane and The Zookeeper's Wife, #JessicaChastain plays the villain of the film, Moira. A "sheerly evil" gossip columnist, she finds the letters between Donovan and Turner. Her intentions are unknown right now, but they don't seem good.
Kathy Bates As Barbara Haggermaker
Acting legend Kathy Bates, following her appearances on American Horror Story and Feud: Bette and Joan will be playing John F. Donovan’s manager. Not much is known about her role as of now.
Susan Sarandon As Grace Donovan
Following her Feud co-star, Susan Sarandon plays Donovan's mother. Again, not much info has been released about this character, but as seen in Dolan's previous works, this picture signals a tumultuous mother-son relationship.
Natalie Portman As Sam Turner
Fresh off her Oscar-nominated role in Jackie, Natalie Portman plays Rupert's mother. The relationship between Sam and her son is said to be the "emotional core" of the film. Having been an actress in her prime, Sam aims to protect her son from the "rejection and displacement" that she experienced.
Jacob Tremblay As Young Rupert Turner
Having gotten his big break from his role in the 2015 hit drama Room, Jacob Tremblay plays the young fan of Donovan. He aspires to be an actor like Donovan, but his mother's disapproval weighs heavy on him. These troubles follow him into adulthood.
Check out the complete image set over at Collider.
Supporting Cast Members We Have Yet To See
- Thandie Newton plays journalist Audrey Newhouse.
- Ben Schnetzer plays the grown up version of Tremblay's Rupert Turner.
- Bella Thorne plays assistant to Chastain, Jeanette.
- Sarah Gadon plays the lead actress in Hellsome High, Liz Jones.
- Chris Zylka, Emily Hampshire and Michael Gambon
An official release date has not been issued, but will likely be in 2018.
Are you excited for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.