While it’s yet to be determined if Xavier Dolan will need to get fitted for a new suit to attend the Oscars in a few months, the filmmaker is out doing the awards season rounds for “Mommy,” Canada’s official entry for the Academy Awards. And as always, he’s candid on nearly every topic. In a recent chat with Thompson On Hollywood, his comments about his upcoming film, “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” starring Jessica Chastain, already has us very excited for his next effort.
The story centers on a Hollywood star (to played by Kit Harington, who Deadline reports just joined the picture) whose innocent pen pal relationship with an 11-year-old in London becomes exposed, and he becomes the target of the editor of tabloid rag The Gossip. And it’s the latter part that’s Chastain’s, and according to Dolan, it’s a vicious one.
“We’re going to have so much fun doing this. She’s a mega tricky villain. Like full-on bitch,” the director said. “I’m a fan of what she does and I can see all that she can do, but she has not played this part. It’s a very specific part. It’s sheer evil.” It sounds like a juicy role, and a memorable part for the actress, who is already in the awards race this year for “A Most Violent Year,” “Interstellar,” and according to THR, “The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby,” with the Weinsteins now making a big push.
As for ‘Donovan,’ the scope is much bigger than anything Dolan has done before, and it tackles a number of themes that are new for the filmmaker.
“Well it is a sort of reflection on Hollywood’s impact in the modern artist’s life, the actor’s life, the people from the industry. It’s a sort of take on how it affects privacy. But it’s not a satire. It’s more of a drama with a structured story of two different lives intertwined: the story of a very, very famous, new ‘it’ boy — but not only ‘it’ because we’re talking iconic, we’re talking new legend,” he explained. “This guy called John F. Donovan is beloved by his peers, admired, adulated, adored by the public, by the fans and approved by the industry and by the journalists. He’s a sort of immediate myth but he’s been having this secretive correspondence with a very young man, an 11-year-old actor-to-be in the UK and they have never told anyone about it, and the film is the story of a sort of an Icarus flight, if I can call it that, when the existence of the letters is revealed to the public and people make the most sordid assumptions, and how this man’s career, and life, completely collapse.”
Casting is underway, and Dolan says the shoot will last 75 days. And knowing how quickly he works, we wouldn’t be shocked to see this on the big screen by the end of 2015.