The Québecois filmmaker, Xavier Dolan, has written and directed five feature length movies since 2009, all of them presented at the Cannes Film Festival in their respective years. This year he presented Mommy, which won both the Jury Prize and high critical acclaim from international press.
Dolan has now premiered the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and used that opportunity to announce that Jessica Chastain has been cast in his next project; his first English language movie called, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. We’ve heard talk about this for quite some time now, and while some (IndieWire) have hinted at a Dolan/Chastain collaboration before, this is the first official confirmation from the director himself.
The reason Dolan reached out to the american actress, is because he read a tweet, where she praised Mommy. They started talking, and as the timelines would suggest (she only saw the movie in Cannes) things unfolded at a rapid pace. In the exclusive post from IndieWire, Dolan also explains the type of character she will play.
“It dawned on me that I should ask Jessica about playing the ‘villain’ role in ‘John F. Donovan,'” Dolan said. “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 every 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.” – Xavier Dolan, IndieWire (10.09.14)
Mommy will premiere in Canada this month, and the distribution rights have been sold to a couple of European countries like, France (08. oct), Germany (13. nov) and Spain (21. nov). Shooting for “John F. Donovan” is set to begin in 2015, so whether or not he will miss the Cannes Festival for the first time since 2011 remains to be seen.
Both Dolan and Chastain is at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, where Chastain is there for Liv Ullman’s, Miss Julie, Dolan can also be found in Charles Binamé’ Elephant Song, alongside Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener and Carrie-Anne Moss.