Back in 2014 Jessica Chastain, Kathy Bates, Susan Sarandon and Kit Harington all signed up to star in the first English-language film from queer Canadian writer/actor/director Xavier Dolan. It’s taken longer to get it going than originally planned (largely because he slotted in the upcoming It’s Only the End of the World beforehand), but Dolan has managed to hang on to his cast, along with previously announced actors such as Michael Gambon, Bella Thorne, Chris Zylka and Emily Hampshire.
However, he’s decided that isn’t an impressive enough ensemble, as Variety reports that Natalie Portman, Nicholas Hoult and Thandie Newton have joined The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. The film is about an American TV star (Harington) with everything working out for him who has a secretive correspondence with an 11 year old in London. When a gossip columnist (Jessica Chastain) makes the whole thing look indecent, his life is turned upside-down.
It’s not clear who the newly announced actors will play, but it is known that Kathy Bates is set to be the actor’s high-powered manager, while Sarandon will play his mother.
Film rights are currently being sold at the Berlin film festival, with plans to shoot later this year.