First Look At Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman & More In Xavier Dolan's ‘The Death and Life Of John F. Donovan’

While Xavier Dolan won’t be at Cannes this year, the filmmaker isn’t waiting to give fans a glimpse of his next, and arguably most ambitious, picture yet. The first images from “The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan” have landed, and they promise more distinct style and drama from the director.

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Jessica Chastain, Kit Harington, Taylor Kitsch, Kathy Bates, Jacob TremblaySusan SarandonNatalie Portman, Nicholas Hoult, and Thandie Newton are part of the star-studded ensemble in the movie, which takes place in the early 2000s and centers on the tribulations of an American TV star in his late 20s (Harington) and his correspondence with Rupert Turner, a young actor-to-be living with his mother in England. Their lives take dramatic turns when the existence of their pen-pal relationship is publicly exposed, eliciting the most ill-founded assumptions and sending Donovan in a vertical downfall. A decade later, the young actor recollects his relationship with his past idol over the course of an interview.

However, the picture will also include a mother/son relationship, which has been a hallmark of the director’s pictures so far. “When editing, [during a lengthier shooting break] it became clear that the heart of this film would be the mother-son relationships,” Dolan told Collider. “And you, know that realization didn’t bother me. I could spend the rest of my life talking about mothers and sons and still be making a completely different movie than the last.”

There’s no release date yet for the movie, but ‘John F. Donovan’ might be ready in time to premiere at a festival this fall.