Back in September it was revealed that Xavier Dolan fan Jessica Chastain had signed on to star in the Quebecois filmmaker’s first English-language movie. Now she’s has some company, with the queer director ensuring that the film has plenty of impressive female talent by adding Kathy Bates and Susan Sarandon to the cast. Kit Harington is also set to star.
The new movie is called The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, which Dolan has previously described as “the story of an American movie star with everything working out for him who has a secretive correspondence with an 11 year old in London.”
THR expands on that, saying Kit Harington’s title character is famed for playing a popular superhero, ‘whose life and career are turned upside-down when his private correspondence with an 11-year-old fan is exposed and made to look indecent by a villainous gossip columnist (Jessica Chastain).’
Kathy Bates is set to be Donovan’s high-powered manager, while Sarandon will play his mother.
Dolan comments, “I’m so psyched about working with these two wonderful, mythical actresses. My excitement is almost convulsive.”
He adds, “Susan Sarandon’s role of the mother is tricky for me because it’s feels very real. The rapport my mom has with my life [since my profile has risen] — and of course I’m not as famous as the character of Donovan — is different now. I think all people can relate to this because whenever you walk out of the path that’s been traced for you, people from your old life find it a little menacing, because it questions their own worth.”
Dolan made waves when he won a prize at Cannes for his directorial debut, I Killed My Mother, which he helmed when he was only 18-years-old. He’s made four more acclaimed films since then (Heartbeats, Laurence Anyways, Tom At The Farm and Mommy), all of which have concerned the queer experience in one way or another.